Target Al Aqsa: settler incursions into Muslim shrine

October 8, 2012
Sarah Benton

This post consists of news reports, 1st from World Bulletin, 3rd from Ha’aretz and the rest from the Palestinian Information Centre (PIC).

An IDF cohort escorts Jewish settlers across the forecourt of the Al Aqsa mosque last Sunday

Israeli troops on Sunday arrested Palestinians as they were praying in the forecourt of the mosque Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem,
By World Bulletin (Istanbul)
October 7, 2012

Israeli troops on Sunday arrested Palestinians as they were praying in the forecourt of the mosque Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Al-Aqsa Foundation and Cultural Heritage Organization said that Israeli security forces have encircled the mosque and the siege gets bigger with time.

Palestinians praying in the forecourt of the mosque were arrested on Sunday, the foundation stressed.

On the other hand, Jewish settlers on Sunday again entered the forecourt of the mosque being escorted by Israeli police officers.

On Saturday, the President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for an “emergency meeting” on Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa.

The Arab League on Sunday expressed support to President Abbas’s call.

Jordanian party calls for Arab summit on Aqsa
October 07, 2012

AMMAN– The Jordanian Islamic Action Front (IAF) party has called for the immediate convening of an Arab summit conference to discuss the escalating Israeli attacks on the holy Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

IAF expressed concern at the Israeli occupation authority’s disregard for all international laws and for continuing to challenge the world by violating sanctity of holy shrines topped by the Aqsa mosque.

The party asked King Abdullah II of Jordan in a message on Sunday to take the initiative in calling for such an urgent summit.

It said that the issue should be taken to the UN Security Council since the Israeli attacks on the Aqsa posed a threat to the international peace and security.

The party reminded that the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem were under the religious jurisdiction of Jordan according to agreements signed with Israel.

Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court: Jews should be allowed to pray on Temple Mount
By Oz Rosenberg, Ha’aretz
October 04, 2012

A Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court judge said Wednesday that the police should allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount – an exceptional remark given that the High Court of Justice has ruled that policy on the Temple Mount is the sole purview of the police.

Police currently enforce the Muslim ban on Jewish prayer at the site, citing security concerns.

“There is room to allow for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount,” said Judge Malka Aviv, during a remand hearing for Hagai Weiss, the son of Prof. Hillel Weiss, who was arrested on suspicion of trying to pray at the site.

She added that “the [police] explanation that Muslims don’t approve of Jews praying on the Temple Mount cannot, in and of itself, prevent Jews from fulfilling their religious obligations and praying on the Temple Mount.”

To her mind, she said, Jewish prayer should be permitted on the Temple Mount “in a structured fashion, in a place designated for it,” that would maintain the security of Jewish worshipers.

It should be noted that despite her clear, unequivocal statements, Aviv was not instructing the police how to act, but merely expressing her opinion.

Fifteen Jews have been arrested over the past few days for trying to pray on the Temple Mount, including right-wing activist Moshe Feiglin, who was arrested Tuesday.

Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, has been a bone of contention every since Israel gained control of the Six Day War in 1967, but decided to leave the administration of the mount in the hands of the Jerusalem Wakf, or Islamic trust, which bans non-Muslim worship in the compound.

When in August 1967 Rabbi Shlomo Goren wanted to lead a group of Jews onto the mount to pray, the Eshkol government convened and passed Regulation 761, under which worshipers would be directed to the Western Wall and discouraged from accessing the Temple Mount.

Many rabbis forbid going up to the mount, lest worshipers inadvertently step on the site of the Holy of Holies, the ancient Temple’s inner sanctum.

But other groups believe that the probable location of the Holy of Holies is known and can be avoided, and have thus repeatedly petitioned for the right of Jews to pray at the holy site. The last petition to the High Court of Justice on this issue was in 2006.

During that hearing, former Supreme Court president Dorit Beinisch stated that “Jewish prayer should not be prevented unless there is concrete information about actual danger to life” or the security of the worshipers, but left the Israel Police as the final authority on the matter.

What many right-wing and religious groups such as the Temple Mount Faithful claim is that no matter what the timing or the circumstances, the police never agree to secure Jewish prayer at the site.

“The same way there’s an arrangement at the Tomb of the Patriarchs [which is made totally accessible to Jews on certain holidays], let there be an arrangement on the Temple Mount,” says Yehuda Glick, chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation. “Especially during the holidays. It can’t be that the mount is closed off so much during the holiday, when people come from all over the country. Every time the police come up with some other excuse.”

Groups promoting visits to the Temple Mount believe that the arrests in recent days have brought things to a head. Most of those arrested, including Feiglin, deny police allegations that they were “violating the custom of the place.”

“There’s a humiliating policy of the Israel Police that’s based on a lie from beginning to end,” said Feiglin, after he was released by the magistrate’s court, which rejected a police request to distance him from the Temple Mount. “There’s a policy of arresting people who go up on the mountain without doing anything. I told them [the police] that just as I went up to the mount this morning a free man, so I will go up in the future.”

In the days before Feiglin was arrested, there were reports on Palestinian websites that he planned to go up to the Temple Mount and cause a provocation.

During Hol Hamo’ed some 20 Muslims were also arrested on suspicion they attempted to attack Jews who were touring the site.

On Thursday, police barred Jews from the site, after receiving reports that Muslims planned to throw stones at Jews that came up to the compound. After police forces were stoned, the Temple Mount was totally closed for a short period.

Following the recent tensions, groups involved with the Temple Mount have called on supportive MKs to intervene on their behalf.

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) has drafted a bill mandating separate hours for Jews and Muslims to pray at the holy site.

130 Israeli settlers storm al-Aqsa
September 24, 2012

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM– Aqsa Foundation for Heritage and Waqf (Islamic endowment) called on the Islamic nation to bear its responsibilities towards al-Aqsa Mosque and occupied Jerusalem, and to act urgently to address the occupation’s attacks against al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Al-Aqsa Foundation said, in a statement issued on Sunday[Seeptember 23] , three Israeli groups, about 130 settlers, toured the holy compound accompanied by rabbis and soldiers, and performed religious rituals. The three groups, belong to Israeli extremist schools, were given a guarded tour of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The groups caused a state of tension with the several hundred students present in the mosque where the settlers started singing and dancing celebrating their invasion of al-Aqsa mosque.

At the same time, the occupation forces, stationed at al-Aqsa gates, prevented Mr. Mohammad Sharif Jabareen from entering the mosque.

Al-Aqsa Foundation warned against the dangerous situations in al-Aqsa Mosque, adding that the repeated Israeli extremists’ invasions of al-Aqsa mosque aimed to impose a new reality upon it in an attempt to impose a defacto division of the mosque supported by the Israeli Knesset.

The Foundation said that the Islamic and Arab silence over the Israeli invasions encourages the occupation to continue forward to impose the division of Al-Aqsa Mosque between Muslims and Jews, calling for a serious and urgent Islamic attitude to save al-Aqsa mosque.

Settlers break into al-Aqsa, sing and perform Talmudic rituals… Again

September 26, 2012

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM,– Jewish settlers broke into al-Aqsa mosque, on Tuesday, through Bab El-Magharbeh bridge, trying to perform Talmudic rituals and prayers.

The raid came after tens of thousands of settlers desecrated, Monday evening, the Buraq Wall area west of the al-Aqsa mosque, where they performed biblical and Talmudic rituals, accompanied by loud songs lasting to the middle of the night.

The Aqsa and Holy Places Maintenance Foundation stated that thousands of occupation soldiers surrounded Buraq area and the Old City of Jerusalem, and closed a number of main and secondary streets to facilitate the arrival of the Israeli settlers to Buraq area.

The Foundation pointed out to the presence of dozens of worshipers and students in al-Aqsa mosque where the atmosphere was highly charged.

Group of settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque

September 07, 2012

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, – Moshe Feiglin, former Likud party candidate, stormed on Thursday morning al-Aqsa Mosque area accompanied by a group of settlers, and performed Jewish prayers amid tight security.

The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Islamic Heritage said that Feiglin and the group of settlers entered the Aqsa plazas from the Mughrabi Gate, and headed to the mosque roofed tribal and tried to perform some Talmudic rituals, then toured around the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Eyewitnesses also confirmed that thirty elements, including Israeli officers and a group of right-wing Israeli Jews, stormed in the morning the southern Mosque in Al-Aqsa.

The foundation asserted in a press release, that al-Aqsa Mosque has been witnessing a state of tension because of this storming.

It stressed on the seriousness of the recurrent raids and the desecration of al-Aqsa Mosque, through which the occupation has been trying to impose its almost daily presence in al-Aqsa as a step towards imposing the division of Al-Aqsa Mosque between Muslims and Jews.

“Al-Aqsa Foundation” called on all Jerusalemites and the Palestinians from the territories occupied in 1948 to intensify their presence in al-Aqsa Mosque in order to protect it from such raids.

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