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In provocative move, Israeli settlers enter al-Aqsa Mosque under armed protection

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The photo, taken from the Mount of Olives, shows a general view of al-Quds' Old City, August 15, 2021. (By AFP)

Scores of Israeli settlers have entered the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied city of al-Quds under protection from troops and in a provocative move that has become commonplace in the occupied territories.

The Palestinian Information Center reported that more than 80 settlers entered the courtyards of the compound on Wednesday morning.

Israeli forces regularly let settlers in the compound. They often, though, restrict the Palestinians’ access.

Jews are allowed entry via the al-Maghariba Gate and they conduct tours of the site in the morning and afternoon.

In line with Israel’s plan to change the status quo at the al-Aqsa Mosque, authorities on Tuesday carried out digging operations in the area of al-Buraq wall (Western Wall).

The al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and located in the occupied Old City of al-Quds, is a flash point. It is the holiest site in Judaism. To Muslims, the compound is Islam’s third holiest site after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina, both cities in Saudi Arabia.

Under a 1967 deal between Israel and Jordan, the compound’s custodian, non-Muslim worship is prohibited at the site. In defiance of the agreement, Israel allows settlers to enter the site and carry out religious rituals.


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