More than 900 Jewish settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque

Al-Aqsa represents the world's third-holiest site for Muslims, while Jews refer to the area as the "Temple Mount.''

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Hundreds of illegal Jewish settlers forced their way into Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque complex on Thursday.

“Around 920 Jewish settlers have entered the compound, accompanied by Israeli police,” the Religious Endowments Authority, a Jordan-run agency in charge of overseeing the city’s Muslim and Christian religious sites, said in a statement.

Illegal Jewish settlers storming into Al-Aqsa Mosque, under Israeli protection. [Mahmoud Illean/AP]
It said the settlers entered through the compound’s al-Mugharbah Gate, where they tried to perform Talmudic rituals.

Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims, while Jews refer to the area as the “Temple Mount,” alleging it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied east Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Six-Day Arab-Israeli War (Al-Naksa).

Israeli settlers can be seen after they stormed into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem. [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
There has been a significant surge in the number of extremist Jews raiding the mosque lately. Last week, dozens of extremist Jews safeguarded by the Israeli police stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque. About 228 extremists entered the mosque.

According to a 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, all waqfs in Jerusalem are under the sanctuary of the administration of Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, which functions under Jordan’s Ministry of Awqaf, Islamic Affairs and Holy Places. A waqf is an Islamic subsidy of property held in trust and used for a charitable or a religious purpose.

(Yaakov Lederman/Flash90)

Jews, who used to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque with authorization from the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf before, regularly enter the Muslim site in line with Israel’s unilateral decision, which violates the waqf’s sovereignty.

The waqf, which does not recognize Israel’s illegal unilateral decision, describes such entries by Jews as raids.

The area where the mosque is constructed is cited as the Temple Mount by the Jews. It is crucial to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Palestinians fearing Israel may one day seek to assert complete control.

Jewish settlers enter the Al-Aqsa compound with the protection of the police. (Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency)

It is situated in East Jerusalem, and was annexed in 1980 by Israeli forces under the alignment that the city serves as the capital of the Jewish nation, a move never recognized by the international community. It ranks only after Makkah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia as far as the sacred sites in Islam and is the holiest site in Judaism.

Jews are allowed on the site to visit but not to pray, to avoid provoking tensions.

Israeli police officers are seen in front of Al-Aqsa Mosque. [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Muslims believe that the first qiblah was at Al-Aqsa Mosque until it was designated as Makkah. Moreover, the existence of the Qubbat-al Sakhra within the compound makes it more special as Prophet Muhammad ﷺ started his spiritual journey to heaven (Mi’raj) from there.

Since Israel occupied Jerusalem in 1967, the conflict has pursued between Israelis and Palestinians, as the former believes that the holy temple of Solomon is beneath the mosque. Several rumors are claiming that some Israelis are digging tunnels to reach the temple’s ruins.

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