WEST BANK (Dispatches) – Zionist troops have banned Muslims from praying at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Al-Khalil as Jews mark their New Year, Wafa news agency has reported.
The Muslim holy site, however, remains open for Zionist settlers.
The decision was condemned by Palestinian officials, who described the move as an attack on basic human rights and a violation of freedom of worship.
Director of the Ibrahimi Mosque Sheikh Hafthi Abu Sneinah told Wafa that Zionist troops denied Palestinians access to the holy site along with its courtyards as the illegal settlers were preparing to mark the Jewish New Year.
“A flagrant affront to the feelings of Arabs and Muslims, a grave breach of the freedom of worship and a blatant violation of international human rights charters and conventions,” Ahmad Tamimi, head of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s human rights department, said.
Settlers Break Into Al-Aqsa
Meanwhile, dozens of Zionist settlers entered the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied East Al-Quds flanked by Zionist troops on Wednesday, as the occupying regime celebrates the Jewish new year.
Local media reported that almost 156 settlers entered Al-Aqsa through the Moroccan Gate on the western side of the compound, which has been controlled by the regime authorities since the beginning of the occupation of East Al-Quds and the West Bank in 1967.
Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa reported that Palestinian worshippers and guards at Al-Aqsa said they felt uncomfortable with the presence of Zionist troops and settlers touring the Muslim holy site, adding that they saw these tours as “provocative”.
Al-Aqsa is one of Islam’s most revered sites.
As the Zionist regime celebrated Rosh Hashanah from Monday until Wednesday, Zionist extremists have called for the storming of the Al-Aqsa compound in a bid to increase presence on the site.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday morning Zionist troops fired tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinian residents in Silwan, a neighborhood south of Al-Quds’ Old City and Al-Aqsa that is facing the regime’s demolition and expulsion orders, Wafa reported.
Zionist settler groups regularly enter the Al-Aqsa compound - which they refer to as the Temple Mount - during religious holidays.
In July, dozens of far-right Zionist settlers broke into al-Aqsa compound one day before the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha. On 18 July, they also forced their way into Al-Aqsa.