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Islamic Jihad slams Israeli incursion in al-Aqsa Mosque, vows to defend sanctities

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement has condemned Israeli forces for breaking into a prayer area along the eastern wall of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, reaffirming the Palestinian nation’s readiness to defend their sanctities against the Tel Aviv regime’s violations.

Islamic Jihad spokesman Tariq Salmi denounced in a statement the incursion into the Bab al-Rahma (The Gate of Mercy) prayer space, saying, “The measure falls within the occupying regime’s targeted onslaught against the holy site.”

“Our people will remain steadfast in defending their land and sanctities and will never shirk their duties toward the sacred al-Aqsa Mosque,” Salmi asserted.

He noted that the Bab al-Rahma prayer area is a part of al-Aqsa Mosque, vowing that the occupying Zionist regime’s attempts to exert its control over that quarter will never be successful.

Salmi also said that any act of aggression against al-Aqsa Mosque or other holy sites in al-Quds will draw a strong response from resistance fighters and evoke severe repercussions across the Middle East.

According to Palestine’s official news agency Wafa, Israeli troops stormed the Bab al-Rahma prayer area on Saturday. They destroyed electrical installations, lighting and speakers inside, as people were celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Israeli authorities originally sealed off the prayer space at the Bab al-Rahma Gate in 2003 during the second Intifada (uprising).

They alleged at the time that the site was being used by members of the Islamic Movement in Israel’s Northern Branch for political activities – an allegation denied by the Islamic Waqf department, which is in charge of al-Aqsa Mosque affairs.

A total of 120,000 Palestinian worshipers performed the Eid al-Fitr prayers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Friday despite strict measures taken by Israel.

Wafa reported that Israeli forces assaulted Palestinian youths, beating them with sticks near the Lions’ Gate in occupied al-Quds, as they were on their way to perform the Eid prayers.

Quarter of a million Palestinians flock to al-Aqsa on 'Laylat al-Qadr' amid Israeli restrictions

During the holy month of Ramadan, Israeli authorities imposed strict restrictions on the entry and exit of Palestinians to and from the gates of al-Aqsa Mosque. Amid heightened tensions with Palestinian worshipers, Israeli settlers also pressed ahead with their frequent incursions and provocative rituals at the holy site.

The resistance movements in Gaza and elsewhere vowed, in return, to confront the Israeli regime on multiple fronts.

On April 6, at least 30 rockets were reportedly launched from southern Lebanon into the Israeli-occupied territories in retaliation for the Israeli aggression against al-Aqsa. Resistance fighters based in Gaza also fired several rockets toward the occupied territories.

Palestinian sources said Israel’s Iron Dome failed to intercept most of the rockets.

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