Palestine: Dozens of Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque complex
By Abdelraouf Arnaout
JERUSALEM (AA): Dozens of Israeli settlers on Wednesday stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem, according to a Palestinian agency.
The Islamic Endowment Department in Jerusalem said in a brief statement that 61 settlers stormed the flashpoint complex this morning, guarded by Israeli police.
It is expected that more settlers will enter the building later in the day.
Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that the incursions included provocations against Muslim worshipers by trying to perform Talmudic rituals at the site.
Settlers storm the complex every day, except for the weekend, Friday for Muslims, and Saturday for Israelis.
Israeli police began allowing the settler incursions in 2003, despite repeated condemnations by the Islamic Endowment Department in Jerusalem.
Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community.
Meanwhile, Israeli ministers on Tuesday laid the foundation stone for a new project to build 350 illegal Israeli settler units in the Beit El settlement near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
International law regards both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and con considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there illegal.
*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat
[Photo: Israeli settlers invade Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in East Jerusalem with support of Israeli police on May 23, 2021. Photograph: Stringer/AA]
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