The New Year in Jerusalem is again marked with violations to Al-Aqsa Sanctuary. The first few days of 2017 saw 150 Jewish settlers storm into the sanctuary under the protection of Israeli military. This follows on from a record number of Israelis storming the Masjid in 2016. It is estimated around 18,000 Israelis attempted to enter the sanctuary last year. The number of incursions on Al-Aqsa are growing, and are encouraged by Israeli government officials and protected by Israeli military. Without being held accountable for these violent actions, and in an attempt to advance their movement, settlers and Temple Mount extremists are now a formidable politically lobbying bloc.
The continued threat in 2016 to Al-Aqsa has resulted in our campaign to highlight the danger to Masjid Al-Aqsa with the call for ‘Aqsa week’. This danger was further highlighted in 2016 by UNESCO, that declared that Al-Aqsa and its compound are sacred to Muslims.  This, along with the global campaign, have been central in protecting the sanctuary. However, the record number of incursions and continued attempts by Israeli extremists, means a need to step up the efforts in highlighting the dangers to Al-Aqsa.
3rd January 2016