Monday, March 4, 2024

More than 48k Israeli settlers stormed al-Aqsa Mosque in 2023: Report

Over 48,000 Israeli settlers stormed the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem last year, according to the authority overseeing the holy site.

Speaking to Anadolu, an official in the Islamic Waqf Department in Jerusalem said during the past year, “48,223 settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.”

Last month alone, he stated, 3,086 settlers raided the mosque under the protection of Israeli police.

Israeli police began allowing the settler incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in 2003, despite repeated condemnations from Palestinians.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Separately, the Jerusalem-based Wadi Hilweh Information Center announced in a statement that Israeli authorities issued 1,105 deportation orders in 2023 to Palestinians, including deportation orders from Jerusalem’s Old City and elsewhere in Jerusalem.

The center also documented 209 Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes across occupied East Jerusalem, including 68 demolitions that took place after Oct. 7, the start of the Israeli onslaught on Gaza.

Twenty-one Palestinians from Jerusalem have been killed by the Israeli forces in 2023, the center added.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War (Six-Day War). It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community.

Israeli officials have been accused of using deportations and similar moves to clear the city’s Palestinian population from lands they have lived on and owned for centuries.

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