Groups of extremist settlers stormed the courtyards of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque this morning, under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces, ahead of the “flags march” scheduled for today in occupied Jerusalem, while the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) called on the Palestinian people to mobilize and travel to Al-Aqsa Mosque to thwart what it described as plans Judaizing occupation.

The Israeli occupation police stormed Al-Aqsa courtyards from the direction of Al-Qibli prayer hall, in preparation for the settlers’ storming of it.

The occupation police allowed extremist Knesset member Itamar Ben Gvir to storm the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque this morning, after preventing him for several weeks.

Al-Jazeera correspondent in Jerusalem, Najwan Samri, said that the Israeli occupation forces closed Al-Qibli Mosque and besieged the worshipers inside it to secure the settlers' incursions.

She added that the occupation forces occupied the roofs of Al-Qibli Mosque and prevented Palestinian youths from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque since the Maghrib prayer yesterday, Saturday.

On the other hand, the Palestinians who succeeded in entering the mosque since yesterday are saying the takbeer and performing the Duha prayer in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque to disrupt the settlers’ intrusion.

The occupation police declared a state of maximum emergency and deployed thousands of soldiers to secure the settlers’ incursions and the flags’ march. It also launched a campaign of preemptive arrests that targeted dozens of Palestinian youths. It also issued decisions to expel hundreds of Jerusalemites from Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Thousands of extremist settlers plan to organize a march carrying the Israeli flag to celebrate what they call "the unification of Jerusalem" on the anniversary of the occupation of East Jerusalem.

Invitation to go

On the other hand, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) called on the Palestinian people to mobilize and travel to Al-Aqsa Mosque to thwart the plans of the Judaizing occupation.

The movement said - in a statement yesterday, Saturday - "Let Sunday be a broad public gift for our people and our nation, in all their places of existence in defense of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa."

It also appealed to the Arab and Islamic nations, government leaders and their people to consider "Sunday as the holy day to thwart the plans of the Judaizing occupation as it is a historical responsibility."

The head of the movement's political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, said that "there are many options to confront the march of the flags and to confront attempts to desecrate Al-Aqsa."

Haniyeh added that "the nation, the people and the resistance are ready and ready to deal with developments in Jerusalem."

He stressed that "the people of Jerusalem are the spearhead," and that the West Bank and the 48 lands are "an extension that is open to all levels," and that "Gaza will remain the shield and the sword," as he put it.

He said, "We are dealing with an occupation that has gone on for so long and its end has come, and the act of resistance was launched early and is still to achieve freedom and return and the declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of all Palestine."

He believed that "the occupation wants to make the march of the flags a station to bypass the achievements of the Battle of Saif al-Quds and bypass the environment that followed this battle."

Also yesterday, the leader of Hamas, Mushir al-Masri, said that the leaders of the occupation should reconsider the march of the flags before they pay their political future for that, and they should not try the resistance again, as he put it.

The “Sword of Jerusalem” is a name given by the Palestinian resistance factions to a battle in which they confronted a military aggression launched by Israel against Gaza that lasted 11 days, between May 10 and 21, 2021, and resulted in the death and injury of thousands of Palestinians.

The spark of war erupted as a result of the events that were taking place in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and Al-Aqsa Mosque, since April 2021.

The broadest call to escalate

For its part, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry considered that Israel's insistence on the flag march to be held today, Sunday, represents "the deepest and broadest call for escalation."

The ministry said in a statement published by the official Palestinian News Agency (WAFA) yesterday, Saturday, that "the Israeli government's insistence on the march of provocative flags and their storming of East Jerusalem and its neighborhoods is the deepest and broadest call for escalation and a spiral of violence in the region, in response to the extremist, obscurantist right-wing ideology and the settlers' expansionist Judaization programs."

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry held the Israeli government, "chaired by the extremist (Prime Minister) Naftali Bennett, fully and directly responsible for the continuous violations and crimes of settlers in the West Bank, which threaten to explode the conflict arena and the entire region and lead to uncontrollable religious conflicts."

The ministry also held the international community responsible for its "failure to implement the resolutions of international legitimacy related to the Palestinian issue, and the policy of double standards and double standards in dealing with international issues."

Al-Jazeera correspondent reported that the Israeli army has expanded the deployment of the Iron Dome system in several areas, and that Tel Aviv is also anticipating the possibility of launching missiles from southern Lebanon, coinciding with the march of flags.

It is noteworthy that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett decided yesterday, Friday, to keep the march of Israeli flags in East Jerusalem on its specified path.

A statement issued by the Office of the Israeli Prime Minister confirmed that the march of flags will not pass from the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, while the Palestinian factions in Gaza announced the entry of their joint operations room in a permanent meeting to monitor developments.