175 settlers break into flashpoint site under police protection, says Palestinian agency.
Scores of Israeli settlers on Thursday forced their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem, according to a Palestinian agency.
The Islamic Endowment Department in Jerusalem said in a statement that 175 settlers under Israeli police protection broke into the flashpoint site.
Usually, Israeli settlers storm the complex every day in the morning and afternoon through its Al-Mughrabi Gate, southwest of the mosque.
Israeli police began allowing the settler incursions in 2003, despite repeated condemnations from the Islamic Endowment Department.
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, a move never recognized by the international community.