On Sunday, two Israeli Jewish settlers violently invaded the Church of the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, Gethsemane, in occupied Jerusalem. The attackers assaulted worshipers with metal pipes, even striking a clergyman in the head. The same day, 107 Israeli Jewish settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, performing provocative rituals and further escalating tensions.
Palestine has called on the United States and the international community to take action and put an end to Israeli settlers’ aggression against holy sites in occupied East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned the violent attack on the church, stating that such incidents are part of Israel’s efforts to “Judaize” Jerusalem, impose Israeli sovereignty, and distance the city from its Palestinian surroundings.
Eyewitnesses reported that two settlers wearing Jewish religious attire entered the church during morning worship, brandishing metal pipes with wooden handles. They began attacking the worshipers and clergy while shouting in Hebrew. Some worshipers managed to overpower the assailants and called the police, who took over an hour to arrive, allowing one attacker to escape.
In a separate incident, 107 Israeli Jewish settlers entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque through the Mughrabi Gate, carrying out provocative tours and performing Talmudic rituals under the protection of Israeli police. The settlers’ actions were intended to provoke and anger Muslim worshipers, as well as desecrate the sacred site.
Tensions have been mounting across the occupied West Bank due to ongoing Israeli incursions into Palestinian towns. Since the beginning of the year, nearly 90 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, while 14 Israelis have lost their lives in separate attacks.
These violent incidents at holy sites have sparked outrage and renewed calls for international intervention to protect the Palestinians and their sacred places. The world must act to preserve the sanctity of these sites and ensure the safety and well-being of their worshipers.