Ultra Orthodox Jewish settlers attack Al-Aqsa

Palestinian officials say dozens of Ultra-Orthodox Jewish settlers attacked Al-Aqsa Mosque compound as they called for marking the Jewish Hanukkah into the religious site

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Monday was attacked by dozens of Ultra-Orthodox Jewish settlers, as they called for marking the Jewish Hanukkah into the religious site, according to Palestinian officials.

“Around 70 Jewish settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa complex through the Al-Magharbeh Gate under Israeli police protection," said Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, the General Director of Muslim Endowments and Al-Aqsa Affairs in Palestine.

He said attackers stormed into the compound with the help of Israeli police forces, as Muslim worshipers tried to stand up to them.

Three Muslim worshipers were detained by Israeli police when they tried to stop the attack, said Al-Khatib.

The attack is not the first by the Jewish settlers. Israeli security forces and a number of Jewish settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa compound on Nov. 6, injuring many Palestinians.

The violence comes as extremist Jewish settlers have been engaging in ‘price-tag’ attacks on mosques and churches.

The ‘price-tag’ attacks were mentioned in the U.S. 2013 Country Reports on Terrorism, released in April of 2013, which included a reference to a growing wave of racist anti-Palestinian vandalism.

"Attacks by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinian residents, property, and places of worship in the West Bank continued and were largely unprosecuted," the report said, citing U.N. data.

Extremist Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians 399 times in 2013, resulting in many injuries and much property damage, according to the U.S. report, citing the U.N. Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs data.

"Violent extremists, including Israeli settlers, vandalized five mosques and three churches in Jerusalem and the West Bank." said the U.S. report.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa is the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

TRTWorld and agencies