Occupied Jerusalem, MINA – The Israeli police on Monday (14/1) arrested five Palestinian guards working at Al-Aqsa Mosque during a settler raid on the Islamic site.
According to Palestinian media sources, the Israeli police arrested Ahmad Abu Alia, Luay Abu al-Saad, Fadi Elyyan, Yahya Shehada, and Awad al-Salaima at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Israeli police on Monday sealed off the Dome of the Rock shrine, detained Palestinian worshipers inside, and prevented them from performing the noon prayer, PIC reported.
Hundreds of Palestinian men and women demonstrated around the site against the Israeli measure and managed to break the siege. The Israeli police brutally assaulted Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, the head of Al- Aqsa Mosque compound, who was leading the Palestinians protesting the siege.
The Israeli police prevented many high-level Islamic Awqaf officials from entering the site, Wafa news agency said, while tension extended to the streets and neighborhoods of the Old City of Jerusalem. Earlier on Monday, about 90 Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque under police guard.
Al-Aqsa Mosque’s guards protested the break-in and closed the doors of the Dome of the Rock shrine as an Israeli police officer attempted to defile the Islamic shrine while wearing a kippah (Talmudic cap). Eyewitnesses said that hundreds of Palestinians in the Old City, including Islamic Awqaf officials, rushed to al-Aqsa Mosque to break the siege imposed by the Israeli police on the worshipers who were inside.
Palestinian Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Yousef Edeis condemned the Israeli siege and warned of the stepped up conspiracies and attacks targeting Jerusalem in general and Al-Aqsa Mosque in particular.
The Islamic Christin Committee to Support Jerusalem and Holy sites said in a statement that besieging the Dome of the Rock, preventing Palestinian worshipers from praying, and assaulting them is another crime added to Israel’s record of crimes against al-Aqsa Mosque.
Secretary-general of the committee Hanna Issa denounced the Israeli attack which falls in line with “Israel’s war on all that is not Jewish in Jerusalem”.(R/R04/P2)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)