Scores of Jewish settlers on Thursday forced their way into Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, according to a Palestinian official.
“Since Thursday morning, over 268 Jewish settlers have entered the compound,” Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for Jerusalem’s Religious Endowments Authority -- a Jordan-run authority responsible for overseeing the city's Muslim and Christian holy sites --, told Anadolu Agency.
According to al-Dibs, the settlers entered Al-Aqsa -- accompanied by Israeli police -- through the compound’s Al-Mugharbah Gate.
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.