24 August 2017

July saw the largest number of Jewish Israelis making provocative visits to al Aqsa in any single month since it came under Israeli control in 1967.

Some 3,200 people visited the site during the month, according to Israeli Army Radio

This was slightly higher than the total number of visits recorded during the Jewish High Holy Days last year – the busiest period of the year in terms of traffic by Israelis. In previous years, approximately 11,000 Israelis visited the site annually.

The surge coincided with tensions at al Aqsa following a shooting incident inside the blessed compound. Israel totally shut down the Masjid and conducted intensive raids of its structures.

Metal detectors were then placed at all the entrances to the Masjid, triggering a popular defiance campaign from Palestinians.

During the protests by Muslim defenders of al Aqsa, many Israeli Jews flocked to the Masjid to pray there.