Ramallah: Fresh clashes rocked Al Haram Al Sharif in occupied East Jerusalem on Monday amid an uptick in Jewish raids and incursions into the holy site coinciding with the Jewish holiday.
Israelis plan to mark their week-long Hanukkah (the festival of lights) in Al Haram Al Sharif and several Jewish groups have called for raids on the Muslim holy site to observe their feast.
Prominent Jewish groups including Women for the Mount, Return to Temple Mount and Students for the Mount called upon colonists and Israelis in general to be present in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City to take part in the daily processions.The processionists identify the centre of the Old City as their starting point from where they seek to converge at Al Magarebah Gate to raid the holy shrine.
“There will be no excuse for the Jews to miss those nationwide celebrations, which will spread Jewish rituals, tradition and culture,” read brochures that the groups distributed all across Israel and in expanding colonies in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem.
Sources in the holy city said that Israeli occupation police in Al Haram Al Sharif escorted dozens of Jews (in small groups) into the holy shrine and provided them with tight security to roam the entire holy site and perform religious rituals which are strictly prohibited under a status quo agreement. Under the agreement, Jews are allowed to visit the holy shrine but are banned from praying there. Palestinians say Jewish raids into the holy shrine are intended to set new precedents to enable Jewish colonists to contend for more rights to worship and rituals at the holy shrine.
Palestinian residents of occupied Jerusalem and Palestinians in 1948 areas plan to proceed to defend Al Haram Al Sharif against the pending Jewish incursions.