Not a day passes, it seems, without the occupation issuing some new regulations to Judaize al-Aqsa mosque . Today, Jews are being given unfettered access to one of Islam’s holiest sites, while restriction on Muslims increase by the day.
Thirteen years ago this month, when former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon brazenly entered the Haram al-Sharif , where the al-Aqsa mosque is located, he sparked a Palestinian intifada that lasted several years . Today, Jewish settlers enter the Muslim holy site at will, with legal cover from the highest echelons of the Zionist state.
Alongside calls for mass marches in Jerusalem on the occasion of the Sukkot Jewish holiday next week, the Knesset issued a law allowing “Jews to worship on the Temple Mount.” In a turbulent meeting of the Knesset’s committee for internal affairs last Monday, September 16, members voted to allow “Jewish worshipers” to enter the Temple Mount throughout the holidays, which last for a week.
Palestinians are concerned that during this period, Jewish settlers and militants will be given free reign to enter the Haram. All efforts have been made to isolate Jerusalem from the adjoining Palestinian areas , forcing it to face the impending disaster alone. This has been done by increasing the number of checkpoints that Palestinians from the West Bank must cross to enter the occupied city, while imposing age restrictions on those within the area occupied in 1948 wishing to attend Friday prayers at the holy mosque.
Israeli plans to divide the Haram al-Sharif between Jews and Muslims – as they did with Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron many years ago – are no longer a matter of conjecture among Israeli politicians, with Knesset members calling for designating certain days of worship for Jews and others for Muslims, thus laying the foundation for the eventual division of one of Islam’s holiest sites.
Some Israeli MPs have even begun to discuss the idea of allowing Jews into the mosque compound at all times, with access to all entrances available. This is as the occupation authorities plan to close all checkpoints leading from the West Bank and Gaza on the occasion of the Sukkot holiday, as they had done recently during Yom Kippur.
Over Yom Kippur, the occupation rehearsed this scenario by restricting Muslims below the age of 50 from entering the mosque, while squares within the Haram were opened before Jewish settlers.