Hundreds of Israelis storm Jerusalem Al-Aqsa compound amid tension – Middle East Monitor

Hundreds of Israeli settlers, on Wednesday, forced their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Occupied East Jerusalem, according to a Palestinian agency, Anadolu News Agency reports.

In a brief statement, the Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem said nearly 400 settlers broke into the Mosque courtyard under police protection through the Mughrabi Gate, west of the Mosque.

According to an Anadolu reporter, some settlers raised Israeli flags inside the flashpoint complex before being stopped by the Israeli police and taken off the site.

The settler intrusions came as Israel is commemorating its national day, which marks the country’s creation on the rubble of Palestine. Palestinians call the day “Nakba”, or the “Catastrophe”.

Tension has mounted across the Palestinian Territories since earlier this month, when Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa complex and forcibly removed worshippers from inside the site.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third-holiest site. Jews, for their part, call the area the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two ancient Jewish temples.

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 recognised by the international community.

READ: Israel settlers burn Palestinian house in West Bank

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