Israeli extremists raid Al-Aqsa, cut down 2,000 olive trees

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The Israeli Occupation Forces escorted groups of Israeli settlers as they raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound through the Al-Maghrebi Gate, this morning, Arab48 reported.

In a statement, the Jordan-run Islamic Waqf Department, which oversees the holy sites in Jerusalem, said some of the settlers continuously performed Talmudic rituals and prayers inside and at the gates of Al-Aqsa, in addition to carrying out provocative tours.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the “Temple Mount”, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Since 2003, Israel has allowed settlers into the compound almost daily.

Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers invaded the village of Qarawat Bani Hassan and cut down 2,000 olive trees, in addition to spraying chemical toxins on hundreds of dunams of Palestinian-owned land.

READ: Israeli settlers uproot 120 olive trees in Ramallah

According to the Mayor of the village, Ibrahim Assi, the soldiers invaded the Al-Awareed area, based north-west of Qarawat Bani Hassan, after declaring it a closed military zone.

The attack, he added, targeted 300 dunams of land and lasted for five hours, before the soldiers left with the uprooted olive trees.

These attacks come amid a noticeable increase in attacks by extremist Israeli settlers on vulnerable Palestinian communities across the Occupied West Bank.

All Israeli settlers, settlements and settlement “outposts” are illegal under international law.

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