By Alaa Rimawi
JERUSALEM (AA) – Scores of Jewish settlers on Thursday forced their way into East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound where they performed Talmudic rituals, a Palestinian official said.
“The situation is very dangerous at Al-Aqsa Mosque amid repeated attempts by settlers to storm it,” Al-Aqsa Mosque Director Sheikh Omar al-Qiswani told Anadolu Agency.
Settler groups have called on followers to enter the Al-Aqsa compound in force during the Jewish Passover holiday, which this year runs from April 22 to 30.
Al-Qiswani appealed to the Muslim world to act to stop Israel “from continuing its assaults on Al-Aqsa Mosque”.
According to an Anadolu Agency reporter, around 750 settlers stormed the flashpoint compound since the beginning of Passover holiday on Sunday.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site. 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 later annexed the city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community.