Dozens of Israeli settlers have stormed into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds amid rising violence at the holy site.
Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, the director general of the Organization for Muslim Endowments and al-Aqsa Affairs, said the incident took place on Monday when “as many as 50 Jewish settlers forced their way into the al-Aqsa (Mosque) compound through the al-Magharbeh Gate under tight protection of the Israeli police.”
He added that the settlers left the compound through the al-Silsila Gate. No clashes have been reported.
Repots say Israeli security forces also confiscated the identity cards of Palestinians before allowing them to get into the compound on the same day.
Over the past weeks, the al-Aqsa Mosque has been the scene of clashes between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli settlers and troops.
The al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage, a Palestinian non-governmental organization, has said in a recent report that nearly 14,000 Israelis, most of them extremist settlers, have forced their way into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds since the beginning of 2014.
Israel has tried over the past decades to change the demographic makeup of al-Quds by constructing illegal settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.
The al-Aqsa compound, which lies in the Israeli-occupied Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds, is a flashpoint. The location of the compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is the holiest site in Judaism. The mosque is Islam’s third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
By Press TV
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