Israeli Extremists Attempt Goat Sacrifice at Al-Aqsa Mosque on Passover

Jewish settlers forcibly entered Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, sparking tensions and clashes with Muslim worshippers. The incident highlights the ongoing religious and political disputes over the holy site.

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Mahnoor Jehangir
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Israeli Extremists Attempt Goat Sacrifice at Al-Aqsa Mosque on Passover

Israeli Extremists Attempt Goat Sacrifice at Al-Aqsa Mosque on Passover

On April 22, 2024, a group of Jewish settlers, escorted by Israeli police, forcibly entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem amid heightened security measures by Israeli soldiers. The incident occurred on the first day of the Jewish Passover holiday, as extremist groups associated with the Temple Movement urged followers to stage large-scale incursions into the mosque to perform a sacrificial ritual.

According to the Jerusalem Islamic Endowment Department, approximately 172 settlers accessed the mosque and engaged in Talmudic rites on the premises. Israeli authorities detained 13 settlers who attempted to smuggle goats into the compound for the ritual, with one animal hidden in a baby carriage and another concealed in a shopping bag.

The Returning to the Temple Mount group had submitted an annual request for the sacrifice, but authorities consistently deny it due to concerns about altering the religious site's status quo and provoking regional tensions. Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, the Mufti of Palestine and Al-Aqsa Mosque Preacher, denounced the settlers' attempts, stating that it offends Muslims and their creed.

Israeli forces heavily deployed in East Jerusalem to hinder Palestinians' access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque while facilitating the settlers' movement. The incident turned the city into a military zone, with soldiers restricting the entry of Palestinian worshippers and forcing others to exit the mosque.

Why this matters: The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount, is a flashpoint for Israeli-Palestinian tensions. The site, holy to both religions, has been at the center of violent clashes and political disputes for decades.

Similar incidents occurred last year before Passover, leading to clashes between Jewish settlers and Muslim worshippers at the holy site. Despite calls from extremist Israeli groups for massive incursions, the response was limited due to security alerts announced by Israeli police and Palestinian counter-calls to confront the violations. The incident highlights the ongoing tensions and the delicate balance of religious rights at one of Jerusalem's most revered and contested sites.

Key Takeaways

  • Jewish settlers forcibly entered Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem on Passover.
  • Settlers attempted to smuggle goats into the compound for a sacrificial ritual.
  • Israeli authorities detained 13 settlers for the goat smuggling attempt.
  • Israeli forces heavily deployed to restrict Palestinian access to the holy site.
  • The incident highlights ongoing tensions at the contested Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.