By Abdel-Raouf Arnaout
JERUSALEM (AA) - Dozens of Jewish settlers on Wednesday forced their way into Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, according to a Palestinian agency.
"Around 185 Jewish settlers have entered the compound," the Religious Endowments Authority, a Jordan-run agency responsible for overseeing the city's Muslim and Christian holy sites, said in a statement.
The settlers entered the Al-Aqsa -- accompanied by Israeli police -- through the compound’s Al-Mugharbah Gate, it said.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third-holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount", claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, in which the Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.
In a move never recognized by the international community, it annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the Jewish state’s "eternal and undivided" capital.