Israeli forces imposed tight security measures on Sunday, ejecting worshippers from Al-Aqsa Mosque and intensifying their presence around it, denying access to any Palestinian below the age of 50 to clear the way for Israeli settlers on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
In celebration of Rosh Hashanah, hundreds of ultranationalist Israelis made an incursion into the Al-Aqsa courtyard through the Morocco Gate under the protection of Israeli troops, according to news outlet Al-Mayadeen.
The Jerusalem Islamic Endowments Department confirmed that the army was working to clear the compound prior to the settler incursion.
Israeli settler groups had been calling for unfettered access to the compound to celebrate Rosh Hashanah on what is known to Jews as the Temple Mount.
A number of Muslim worshippers had gathered at the holy site following dawn prayers to object to the harassment and intrusions by Israeli settlers.
Israeli soldiers “physically assaulted and beat up three worshippers”, including an elderly man and elderly woman, near Bab as-Silsila, Palestinian news agency WAFA said, adding that the three had objected to an Israeli settler blowing a horn at the entrance to Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Two men were arrested inside the compound and transferred to “an unknown destination”, Al-Maydeen reported.
Video footage showing settlers touring the Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard was circulating on social media.