Occupied Jerusalem, ALRAY - Hundreds of extremist settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday morning, through the Moroccan Gate, under heavy Israeli occupation police protection, on the occasion of what is known as the "Hebrew Day of Atonement."
Israeli occupation police intensified their presence and deployed special units in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa and at its entrances to secure the entry of the extremists. They also set up military checkpoints in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem, preventing locals from entering the holy mosque.
An employee at the Al-Aqsa Mosque said that approximately 317 settlers, including the extremist "Yehuda Glick," entered the mosque and conducted provocative tours in its courtyards. They performed Talmudic rituals within the mosque's premises.
He mentioned that the settlers performed dances and provocative songs at the Chain Gate after leaving the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in front of the Qatanin Gate west of the mosque.
Despite the tightened measures by the occupation authorities, Palestinian worshipers managed to perform the Fajr (dawn) prayer in the southern prayer hall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Jerusalemites continue to call for gathering and steadfastness at Al-Aqsa in the coming days to thwart the settlers' plans and ongoing Judaization efforts against it.
The calls emphasize the importance of anyone who can reach Al-Aqsa, whether from Jerusalem, the occupied territories, or the West Bank, to defy the occupation's continuous restrictions and challenges in the holy city.
The self-proclaimed "Temple Organizations Union" had announced an invasion of the Al-Aqsa Mosque center on Sunday and Monday, on the occasion of the Torah's "Atonement Day."
The extremist groups stated that the invasion during these two days includes holding collective prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, including the simulation of the Atonement sacrifice and repentance prayers.
These groups carry out invasions on the eve of the Hebrew Atonement Day to compensate for their limited access during it. However, they also aim to consecrate the invasion of Al-Aqsa as a "sacred act" that includes "Atonement fasting."
On Saturday evening, hundreds of settlers performed Talmudic prayers at the Western Wall adjacent to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the occasion of "Atonement Day."