By Qais Abu Samra
JERUSALEM (AA) – Scores of Israeli settlers on Sunday forced their way into the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem, according to a Palestinian agency.
In a statement, the Jordan-run Islamic Waqf Department, which oversees holy sites in Jerusalem, said the settlers entered the site through the compound’s Al-Mugharbah Gate under Israeli police protection.
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.
Since 2003, Israel has allowed settlers into the compound almost daily.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Waqf and Religious Affairs, a total of 34,562 Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in 2021.
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.
*Writing by Ahmed Asmar