OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Under heavy police protection, Jewish settlers for the second day are provocatively roaming the Islamic Al-Aqsa Mosque as they mark Tisha B'Av, in memory of the destruction of the alleged Temple.
Since 7am Tuesday, police have been seeing that Jews enter the mosque through the Mughrabi gate in back-to-back small groups in numbers larger than those who entered the mosque a day earlier.
The intruders have been roaming in the mosque’s courtyards and prayer areas as Israeli police have threatened to prosecute and eject any Muslims who approach them. Reports show that Muslims observing I'tikaf at the mosque have even been forced out.
Turmoil has enveloped the Muslim worshipers, and they have responded to the provocation by chanting “God is greater” in the faces of the intruders.
Israeli Radio has reported that two Jerusalem natives have been arrested for resisting the settler invasion.
On Monday, some one thousand Jewish settlers have flooded the streets of Jerusalem calling for the imposition of Israeli sovereignty over Al-Aqsa Mosque, called by Jews as the Temple Mount.
Among those who joined the march as it heads for the Buraq Square (Western Wall) are Israeli Knesset members Michael Ben-Ari and Aryeh Eldad, from the rightist National Union party.
Many public facilities have been closed and life has been disrupted as the Jews fast and hold prayers according to a variety of Jewish traditions.
According to Jews, the first temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC and again by the Romans in 70 CE.
Meanwhile, Muslims are marking the holy month of Ramadan with fasts and prayers in Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest in Islamic tradition.
In a statement, Palestinian MP Salim Salama condemned the Jewish invasion of Al-Aqsa Mosque, warning that the acts served as a prelude to dividing Al-Aqsa Mosque as had been done to the the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Al-Khalil.
He called on worshipers to remain stationed in the mosque to defend it and to block repeated attempts by Jews to intrude and desecrate it.