JERUSALEM (AA) – Hundreds of Jewish settlers forced their way into Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex on Thursday, according to a Palestinian agency.
“Around 920 Jewish settlers have entered the compound, accompanied by Israeli police,” the Religious Endowments Authority, a Jordan-run agency responsible for overseeing the city's Muslim and Christian holy sites, said in a statement.
It said the settlers entered through the compound’s al-Mugharbah Gate, where they tried to preform Talmudic rituals.
Al-Aqsa represents the world's third-holiest site for Muslims, while Jews 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.