The sanctity of Masjid al-Aqsa is suffering an intensified threat at the hands of Israeli settlers, with women having been barred entry to the iconic mosque, since the begging of Ramadan. This is according to Palestinian born pharmacy student, Basel Agbaria, who is currently studying at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).
Detailing the situation on VOC’s Breakfast Beat, Agbaria warned that the recent conflict in Gaza may have been an attempt by Israel to divert attention away from their campaign to divide, and possibly destroy Masjid al-Aqsa.
As a result of this campaign, women were now almost entirely banned from entering the mosque itself.
“This is very strange, because before they used to ban the men and children from entering the mosque. But for the first time, women are completely banned from entering Masjid al-Aqsa,” he said.
However, he suspected the ban may be motivated by the Palestinian women’s opposition of settlers that tried to enter, and desecrate the mosque. He described these women as the ‘first line of defense for al-Aqsa’.
Agbaria further suggested that ‘extremist Zionists’ were bringing tours and delegations to the masjid, in the hopes of desecrating it. He pointed to once such incident, which led to a settler breaking the arm of a Palestinian woman. After being detained at a police station, the settler was served with a one month ban from entering the mosque.
“I wonder what if it was a Muslim man or a Palestinian man that broke the arm of a Zionist Israeli lady. He might have ended up for the rest of his life in jail,” he said.
He also highlighted that the Israeli campaign was to such an extent that Muslims were not allowed entry to the mosque before 3pm each day.
“This means that even before Salaahtul Fajr they try and clear Masjid al-Aqsa of all the people from the night before. In the morning when the mosque is empty, they bring the settlers through the Morrocan door which we have no control and access to, and they prevent us from entering from the rest of the doors,” he said.
He concluded that there was very little the Palestinian people could do to oppose those that desecrated the holy mosque, as there was always a strong military presence that gave settlers free reign to do as they pleased. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)