Aqsa official: Israeli police to blame for escalations

            <p>By Abdelraouf Arnaout</p>    <p>JERUSALEM (AA) - Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, director of East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, has said that Israeli police bear full responsibility for recent escalations at the flashpoint site.</p>    <p>Speaking to Anadolu Agency on Monday from a hospital where he is receiving treatment, al-Kiswani said: &quot;The Israeli police are trying to impose a new fait accompli at the [Al-Aqsa] mosque, which we absolutely reject.&quot;</p>    <p>&quot;We call for Arab and Islamic action to stop continued Israeli attacks on the mosque and its worshipers,&quot; he added.</p>    <p>Al-Kiswani was taken to hospital earlier Monday after sustaining an injury near East Jerusalem’s iconic Dome of the Rock, which is located inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.</p>    <p>Al-Kiswani says he was injured after falling down between a crowd of Palestinian worshipers and Israeli forces inside the mosque compound, sustaining bruises and light injuries.</p>    <p>Earlier Monday, the Palestinian authorities closed the Dome of the Rock after an Israeli policeman attempted to force his way into the site.<br>  </p>  <p>For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount”, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times. </p>    <p>Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state -- a move never recognized by the international community.</p> 

Palestine urges int’l probe into Jerusalem excavations

By Ayse Sumeyra Aydogdu and Eyser el-Iys

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has called for forming an international commission to investigate Israeli excavations in the occupied city of East Jerusalem and beneath the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

In a statement on Saturday, the ministry warned that the Israeli diggings pose a major threat to Palestinian houses in the occupied city.

“These excavations aim to cause cracks in Palestinian houses, with Israeli authorities ordering residents to leave these houses on the ground that they are not fit for living,” the ministry said.

The ministry went on to describe the Israeli eviction of Palestinians from their homes as a “large-scale, systematic ethnic cleansing”.

There was no comment from Israeli authorities on the ministry’s statement.

Israel refuses to allow access to UNESCO to examine the holy sites in East Jerusalem.

In July 2017, the UNESCO executive board adopted a resolution that slammed “the failure of the Israeli occupying authorities to cease the persistent excavations, tunneling, works, projects and other illegal practices in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law”.

The resolution further stated that “legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, which have altered — or purport to alter — the character and status of the holy city of Jerusalem… are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith”.

In 2016, UNESCO passed a resolution describing Jerusalem as an “occupied” city and Israel as an “occupying power”, which — under international law — has no sovereignty over the historic city.

The same resolution stated that Jerusalem’s Old City was “entirely Palestinian”, going on to emphasize its historical “Muslim and Christian” identity and heritage.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. In a move never recognized by the international community, it unilaterally annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as its “eternal and undivided” capital.

Jewish settlers storm Jerusalem’s Aqsa compound

By Abdelraouf Arnaout

JERUSALEM (AA) – Scores of Israeli settlers forced their way into East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Monday, according to a Palestinian official.

“Around 127 Jewish settlers broke into the holy compound this morning,” Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordan-run organization responsible for overseeing the city's Islamic sites, said in a statement.

According to the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, settler incursions — which began in 2003 — into the holy site have seen a remarkable increase this year.

For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount", claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where the Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, during the 1967 Middle East War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decades-long Mideast conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem might one day serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.

Jewish settlers converge on Jerusalem’s Aqsa compound

JERUSALEM (AA) – Scores of Israeli settlers stormed East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Thursday, according to a Palestinian official.

“Around 135 Jewish settlers broke into the holy compound this morning,” Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordan-run organization responsible for overseeing the city's Islamic sites, said in a statement.

According to the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, settler incursions – which began in 2003 — into the holy site have seen a remarkable increase this year.

For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount", claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where the Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, during the 1967 Middle East War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community.

Scores of settlers storm Jerusalem’s Aqsa compound

JERUSALEM (AA) – Scores of Israeli settlers forced their way into East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Wednesday, according to a Palestinian official.

“As much as 152 Jewish settlers stormed the holy compound today,” Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordan-run organization responsible for overseeing the city's Islamic sites, said in a statement.

He said the settlers were joined by dozens of Israeli policemen during the tour.

For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount", claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where the Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, during the 1967 Middle East War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community.

Jewish settlers converge on J'lem's Aqsa Mosque complex

JERUSALEM (AA) – Hundreds of Jewish settlers forced their way into East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Thursday, according to a Palestinian official.

“Some 200 settlers stormed the compound under the protection of Israeli police,” Firas al-Dibs, a Palestinian official with Jerusalem’s Religious Endowments Authority (which oversees the city's Muslim and Christian holy sites), said in a statement.

According to al-Dibs, the settlers were accompanied by Israeli MP Shuli Mualem of the right-wing Jewish Home party.

In June, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lifted a three-year ban on Israeli government officials and lawmakers visiting Al-Aqsa, allowing members of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) to visit the flashpoint site once every three months.

In late 2015, Netanyahu had banned MPs from entering the Al-Aqsa compound in an effort to calm tensions that had erupted across the Israeli-occupied West Bank following repeated incursions by Jewish settlers into the site.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount”, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, in which the Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Middle East War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as its “eternal and undivided” capital in a move never recognized by the international community.

Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa mosque, Nablus shrine

JERUSALEM (AA) – Dozens of Jewish settlers on Wednesday stormed East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, according to a Palestinian official.

"Around 60 Jewish settlers forced their way into the compound under the protection of Israeli police,” Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordan-run organization responsible for overseeing the city’s Islamic sites, told Anadolu Agency.

He said hardline member of Knesset (Israel’s parliament) Yehuda Glick was among the settlers who toured the site.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, in which the Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Middle East War. It formally annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as its capital in a move never recognized by the international community.

Meanwhile, hundreds of settlers visited a shrine in the West Bank city of Nablus, triggering clashes with Palestinian youths, according to local residents.

“Around 1000 settlers stormed the Joseph’s shrine, where they performed rituals under the protection of Israeli forces,” Palestinian activist Ahmed Shamekh said.

He said Israeli forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters to disperse angry Palestinians, who gathered to protest the settlers’ tour.

Around 20 Palestinians were reportedly injured.

Joseph's Tomb has long been a flashpoint for potential violence. Jews believe the site to be the burial place of the biblical patriarch Joseph. Muslims, however, challenge this claim, saying an Islamic cleric – Sheikh Yussef Dawiqat – was buried at the site two centuries ago.

Hundreds of Jewish settlers storm Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa

JERUSALEM (AA) – Hundreds of Jewish settlers on Thursday stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem for the fourth day in a row, according to a Palestinian official.

“Over 930 settlers and police officers raided the mosque compound, where they performed Talmudic rituals,” Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for Jerusalem’s Religious Endowments Authority (a Jordan-run organization responsible for overseeing the city’s Muslim and Christian holy sites), told Anadolu Agency.

“Since early this morning, settlers have forced their way into the compound through the Al-Mugharbah Gate and left through the Al-Silsila gate,” he said.

According to al-Dibs, dozens more Jewish settlers are expected to converge on Al-Aqsa later today.

Al-Dibs said “dozens” of Israeli policemen had been deployed inside the Al-Aqsa compound and outside its gates.

“Police have also restricted the entry of Palestinian Muslim worshipers into the mosque by confiscating their ID cards at the compound’s entrances,” he said.

Since last Friday, over 2,700 Israeli settlers and policemen have entered the compound to mark the weeklong Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which will end on Sunday.

Tension has mounted in the Palestinian territories — including occupied East Jerusalem, where the Al-Aqsa is located — since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital earlier this year.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount", claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

– West Bank arrests

In a related development, the Israeli army rounded up 11 Palestinians from their homes across the occupied West Bank in overnight raids, according to an Israeli army statement released Thursday morning.

According to the statement, the individuals were detained for what the army described as “suspected involvement in popular terrorist activities”.

The statement did not elaborate as to the precise meaning of “popular terrorist activities”.

Detained Palestinians have since been remanded into custody for further investigation, according to the army.

Israel frequently conducts sweeping arrest campaigns across the occupied territories on the pretext of searching for “wanted” Palestinians.

According to Palestinian figures, some 6,500 Palestinians are currently languishing in Israeli prisons, including scores of women, some 350 minors and at least six lawmakers.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community.

Settlers storm J'lem's Al-Aqsa, Palestinians detained

JERUSALEM (AA) – Hundreds of Jewish settlers on Tuesday forced their way into East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, according to a Palestinian official.

“Three hundred settlers stormed the holy compound and performed Talmudic rituals near the Dome of the Rock Mosque,” Firas al-Dibs, a Palestinian official with Jerusalem’s Religious Endowments Authority, told Anadolu Agency.

He said settlers were backed by dozens of Israeli policemen, who arrested two authority employees and a Palestinian worshiper.

“The settlers stormed the compound through the Al-Magharbah Gate and stayed for five hours before leaving through the Al-Silsila Gate,” he added.

According to al-Dibs, extremist Jewish groups had called on followers to converge on the Al-Aqsa to mark the weeklong Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

Tension has mounted in the Palestinian territories — including occupied East Jerusalem, where the Al-Aqsa is located — since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount", claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community.

Scores of Jewish settlers enter Al-Aqsa for Yom Kippur

By Abdelraouf Arnaout

JERUSALEM (AA) – Scores of Jewish settlers on Wednesday forced their way into Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa compound to mark the second day of the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday, according to a Palestinian official.

“At least 159 Jewish settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa compound on Wednesday,” Firas al-Dibs, an official with Jerusalem’s Jordan-run Religious Endowments Authority, said in a statement.

Often backed by Israeli police, settlers frequently enter the mosque compound through the western Al-Magharbeh Gate.

Earlier this week, Jewish extremist groups called on supporters to converge on Al-Aqsa on Tuesday and Wednesday to mark Yom Kippur, one of the most important holidays on the Jewish calendar.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount”, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem — in which the Al-Aqsa is located — during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. In 1980, Israel unilaterally annexed the entire city, claiming it as its “eternal and undivided” capital.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army has imposed a general closure on the occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip for the duration of the holiday, which will end Wednesday evening.

According to an army statement, all checkpoints between Israel and the West Bank and between Israel and Gaza will remain closed for both days.

The army is expected to impose another general closure on the West Bank and Gaza during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot from Sept. 23 to Oct. 1.