Hundreds of Jewish settlers, flanked by heavily armed Israeli special forces, have stormed al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem to mark the Jewish holiday of Passover.
The Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that around 500 settlers entered al-Aqsa Mosque in the early hours of Thursday before performing Jewish religious rituals near the Dome of the Rock Mosque.
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The ancient marble-and-stone compound – known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif – houses al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third-holiest site, and the 7th-century Dome of the Rock.
Visits by Jewish groups, including politicians, have triggered violence over the years, with Palestinians fearing that Israeli hardliners are trying to take control of the site.
okesman for the Religious Endowments Authority, said at least 491 settlers and 13 special forces officers “broke into the compound”, bringing the total number of Jewish settlers illegally entering the religious site since Sunday to 1,731.
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