JERUSALEM (AA) – Scores of Israeli settlers forced their way into East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Wednesday, according to a Palestinian official.
“As much as 152 Jewish settlers stormed the holy compound today,” Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordan-run organization responsible for overseeing the city's Islamic sites, said in a statement.
He said the settlers were joined by dozens of Israeli policemen during the tour.
For Muslims, the 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, where the Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, during the 1967 Middle East War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community.