Israel occupied East Jerusalem, including the Al Aqsa compound which is considered by Muslims to be the third holiest place in Islam, during the 1967 Middle East War.
Dozens of Israeli settlers forced their way into East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday, according to a Palestinian official.
“More than 150 Jewish settlers stormed the holy compound through the Al Mugharbah gate,” said Firas al Dibs, a spokesman for Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordan-run organisation responsible for overseeing the city’s Islamic sites.
He said the settlers were joined by a number of Israeli policemen during the tour.
Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel was among those who toured the holy compound, according to Dibs.
Tension has mounted in the Palestinian territories – including occupied East Jerusalem, where the Al Aqsa compound is located – since US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
For Muslims, Al Aqsa represents the third holiest site in Islam. 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 during the 1967 Middle East War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state in a move never recognised by the international community.
Last year, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling on the US to withdraw its recognition of the flashpoint city as Israel’s capital.