Israel's aggressiveness towards Al-Aqsa since 1967


The recent Israeli restrictions on Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque is not first, the history of Israel's aggressive actions in the Muslim holy lands since 1967 has become current once again

Following the recent Israeli restrictions on Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site of Muslims, the history of Israel's aggressive actions in the Muslim holy lands since 1967 has become current once again.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office has remarked that the situation at Al-Aqsa would not change, but the Israeli government has also made recent statements showing a push to divide Al-Aqsa between Jews and Muslims.

According to Palestinian officials, 2014, 2015, and 2016 were the years in which violations became more rampant and the situation became more threatening for Muslims.

Immediately after Israel invaded Jerusalem in 1967, Israel began extensive excavation work in the neighborhood of Al-Aqsa, without giving any justification.

Dennis Michael Rohan, a Jew from Australia, attacked Al-Aqsa on Aug. 21, 1969, burning the mihrab and a 1,000-year-old pulpit. Despite extensive restoration work, the traces of his destruction have never been fully erased.

In 1982, an Israeli soldier opened fire on worshippers at Friday prayer, killing two people and wounding six.

On Oct.10, 1990 when Israeli police opened fire on Palestinians standing against Jews who wanted to replace Al-Aqsa with a new Temple of Solomon, 21 were killed while 150 were injured.

On Sept. 25, 1996, in the Al-Aqsa neighborhood, Israel excavated a tunnel leading to the ancient Buraq (Western or Wailing) Wall. When Palestinians protested, 63 Palestinians were killed and 600 injured.

When former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited Al-Aqsa in 2000 with hundreds of bodyguards, saying, "The Temple Mount [Al-Aqsa compound] is in our hands and will remain so," this triggered the second revolt (also known as the Second Intifada) that would last for around five years.

In response to the raids of Israeli forces, the Al-Aqsa Islamic Endowments Department (Waqf) banned non-Muslims from visiting Aqsa and refused Israel's request to restart visits.

However, Israel unilaterally began to take non-Muslim tourists to the back area of the site despite the Waqf's objections.

The pressure on Al-Aqsa rose dramatically from 2014 on.

Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, the former mufti of East Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa preacher, called 2015 was "the most oppressive and difficult year," blaming Israel's irreconcilable attitude along with Netanyahu's far-right policies.

On Aug. 20, 2003, the area around Al-Aqsa was unilaterally opened for Jewish settlers by Israel despite the Waqf's objections. In 2007, when Israel started to disrupt the path connecting Muslims to Al-Aqsa, there were brawls between Palestinians and Israelis.

On June 13, 2014, triggered by Israeli soldiers who entered Al-Aqsa's compound, 30 people protesting occupying forces were injured.

In 2015, when Israeli soldiers disrespectfully entered the mosque compound, Palestinians protested, and five of them were taken into custody.

Along with the direct assaults on Al-Aqsa, Palestinians are also troubled by the rising number of Jewish settlements in the district. There are currently 63 construction areas in the district despite the objections of Palestinians.

According to the Jordan Media Unit of Foundation Administration, the number of Jews who started to live close to Al-Aqsa has reached over 68,000 since 2009-2016, including more than 35,000 in the last three years alone.

In order to justify the excavation and construction, the Israel government claims that there are remains of the ancient Temple of Solomon underneath the mosque complex.

On July 14, early in the morning, Israeli police forces killed three Palestinians that Israel says were carrying out an armed attack. Two Israeli policemen also died.

Following the incident, Israeli forces closed Al-Aqsa to worship. Two doors to the compound were opened on Sunday with metal detectors on them.

According to the local Palestinian community, Israel wants to gain dominance in the compound, which is controlled by the Waqf, and the metal detectors have nothing to do with security concerns.

Israel has said the metal detectors are in line with security measures at other holy sites worldwide.

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