11 December 2017

Members of the Temple Mount movement are publicly calling its followers to participate in wide scale provocative visits to Al-Aqsa Mosque, on Sunday, after the US president Donald Trump declared occupied Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

According to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, followers and settlers were called to participate in mass rallies organized in Jerusalem, Sunday evening, in front of Al-Asbat gate. The aim of the rallies is to legitimize the entry of Israelis into the mosque via all gates and increase the hours of visits to the holy site.

Settlers and Israelis used to enter the compound via Moroccan gate, to which the Israeli occupation seized the keys after the 1967 war.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is subjected to a series of extremist visits during morning hours and afternoon periods in an attempt to impose the temporal and spatial division plan of the mosque.

It is the third holiest site in Islam and also venerated by Jews. Disputes surrounding visitation to the site have historically flared tensions in the occupied Palestinian territory.

In 2003, the Israeli government unilaterally decided — despite the objections of the Islamic Endowments Department — to allow non-Muslim visitors into the complex.

Since then, under increasingly right-wing Israeli governments, extremist Jewish settlers have been allowed into the site in ever greater numbers — usually protected by Israeli security forces — while Palestinian access to the site has become increasingly restricted.