The Muslim world saw jubilant scenes of worshippers entering Masjid al Aqsa, over two months after it was shut due to Coronavirus. Scenes of worshippers, prostrating themselves in thanks, spread across social media.
It was not long after that heavily armed Israeli troops escorted Israeli settlers into the Al Aqsa compound as reported by TRT World. Such moves are seen as provocation by Palestinians and a breach of the 1967 deal.
In 1967 a deal was struck when Israel annexed East Jerusalem. This was followed by the Knesset, Israel’s legislative body, passing the Preservation of Holy Place Law. This gave administration of the Al Aqsa compound to the Islamic Waqf while guaranteeing the Israeli police would not prevent worshippers accessing it.
Even the religious authorities of the countries said that it is forbidden for Jews to walk on the Al Aqsa compound, which is believed to be at the same location of the Temple Mount. Masjid Al Aqsa is the third of the three holiest sites in Islam.
Recent years have seen Israel allow Jewish worshippers to conduct prayers inside the Al Aqsa Mosque. This has caused tensions between the communities and has often lead to clashes.
Tensions have already been fragile as Israel Police recently shot an unarmed innocent autistic Palestinian man, with the mental age of 6, on Saturday.
The 79 year old Imam of Masjid al Aqsa, Shaikh Ekrima Sabri was also arrested two days ago after Israeli troops stormed his house. Shaikh Sabri had rejected plans to restrict prayer at Masjid Al Aqsa. A female teacher at Masjid al Aqsa Hanadi Al Halawani was also arrested. No charges have been brought against both as yet.