Press TV- More than a thousand of Israeli settlers have stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Israeli-occupied Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds amid frequent acts of violence committed by Israeli forces and settlers against the Palestinian people.
Palestinian sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a total of 1,042 settlers and dozens of intelligence agents forced their way into the holy site through the Bab al-Magharibah under the tight protection of several groups of Israeli soldiers and special police forces, Arabic-language Safa news agency reported.
The settlers performed acts deemed provocative by Palestinians in the mosque courtyard, and were given explanations about Solomon’s Temple – also known as the First Temple.
The Israeli settlers then read Talmud verses out loud.
Israeli forces arrested al-Aqsa Mosque guard, Muhammad al-Salhi, after he was assaulted while approaching the settlers.
The Israeli settler finally left the sacred site through the Chain Gate (Bab al-Silsileh).
The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US President Donald Trump announced his decision on December 6 last year to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.
The dramatic shift in Washington’s policy vis-à-vis the city triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.
On December 21, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli “capital.”
In an attempt to avert the resolution, Trump had warned that “we’re watching,” threatening reprisals against countries that backed the measure, which had earlier faced a US veto at the UN Security Council.
Israel, however, rejected the world body’s resolution while thanking Trump for his decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.
On January 18, the United States reneged on a pledge to contribute $45 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which supports more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees and their descendants.
The announcement to cut aid to Palestinian refugees came after the US president made a threat to cut off aid to the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency.
In a series of tweets on January 2, Trump said that the US paid “the Palestinians hundreds of millions of dollars a year” and yet gets “no appreciation or respect.”
“But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” he asked.