Severe Clashes As Jewish Settlers Enter Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound

Surreal footage shows a massive riot broke out inside al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem on Sunday, with Israeli security forces storming Islam's third holiest site, which sits atop Temple Mount. 

IDF stand outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, Sunday. via The Jerusalem Post

It all started when Jews were controversially allowed entrance to the compound to celebrate Jerusalem Day which marks Israeli control over the Old City in the aftermath of the June 1967 Six-Day War. In response to reports that Jewish entrance was imminent, Palestinians began to riot, which included throwing stones, chairs, and objects at entering police. 

Multiple reports noted the incident marked the first time in about three decades that Jews were allowed access to the compound during the final days of the month of Ramadan, which was likely the result of Israeli authorities feeling emboldened by the US formal recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital last year. 

Israeli Jews are generally forbidden to enter the compound during this sensitive month of the Islamic calendar when tensions are typically on edge, but this year they flooded into Palestinian dominant East Jerusalem. 

Clashes began early in the morning when hundreds of hardline Israeli nationalist settlers showed up to the gates demanding entry to al-Aqsa, with Palestinians gathering to resist their entrance, resulting in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) storming the mosque with tear gas, stun bombs, and rubber bullets, which led to a handful of injuries among the Palestinians. 

Tensions were already soaring in Jerusalem's contested Old City after on Friday a 16-year old Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces as he tried to gain entry to East Jerusalem directly from the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. 

Over the weekend Israeli protesters and settlers flooded East Jerusalem to gain entry to al-Aqsa Mosque compound. IDF personnel reported cleared the area in front of the mosque to allow settlers to dance and chant. Image via Quds News Network.

Likely such tragic incidents and increasingly violent clashes are likely to occur as the full implications of the recent White House recognition of Israeli ownership over the Jerusalem "capital" continues to unfold.