Israeli police shut down roads in Jerusalem neighborhood

Days Of Palestine - Jerusalem

Israeli forces shut down on Tuesday two roads in Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque, citing current Jewish holidays as a pretext, said local sources.

Israeli police sealed off Al-Magahriba Gate Road and the Gethsemane Road, which lead to Silwan and Wadi Hilweh respectively,  causing a traffic jam.

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This came as 200 settlers barged their way to the mosque compound under police protection to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which started on October 14 and ends on October 20.

The Islamic Waqf Department of Jerusalem confirmed that settlers were briefed about the planned construction of the third temple over what they call “Temple Mount”.

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Road closures besides to other measures, taken under the guise of security, are intended to entrench Israel’s 51-year-old military occupation of the West Bank and its settler colonial project which it enforces with routine and frequently deadly violence against Palestinians.

Messianic Jewish settlers are hoping to establish an increased presence on the site of the Al-Aqsa mosque, among the most important Muslim shrines in the world and potent symbols of Palestinian nationalism, and calling for building a third temple on what they term the “Temple Mount”.

Their far-right beliefs were once considered a small fringe movement, but in recent years, they have found favor in the administration of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, receiving the endorsement of many lawmakers.

Settlers incursions into the mosque compound coupled with the takeover of church property in Jerusalem are perceived as part of the plan to transform a multi-religious and multi-cultural city into a “reunified” Jewish city under the exclusive control and sovereignty of Israel.