Groups of extremist Israeli settlers, early Monday, stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque, in the occupied holy city of Jerusalem, a Palestinian source confirmed to Al Ray.
The General Director of the Islamic Awqaf and al-Aqsa Affairs, Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, said that dozens of extremists settlers forced their way into Al-Aqsa Mosque from Al- Magharebah Gate, under heavy protection of Israeli special police and forces.
Al-Khatib noted that the settlers provocatively toured the compound and performed their Talmudic rituals, creating a state of tension among Muslim’s worshippers and inside the holy shrine.
Colonial settlers regularly storm Al-Aqsa under police protection, in an attempt to divide the mosque temporally andÂ spatially.
It is the third holiest site in Islam and also venerated as Judaismâ€™s most holy place, alleged to be the original site of Solomonâ€™s Temple. Disputes surrounding visitation to the site have historically flared tensions in the occupied Palestinian territory.
In 2003, the Israeli government unilaterally decided â€” despite the objections of the Islamic Endowments Department â€” to allow non-Muslim visitors into the complex.
Since then, under increasingly right-wing Israeli governments, extremist Jewish settlers have been allowed into the site in ever greater numbers â€” usually protected by Israeli security forces â€” while Palestinian access to the site has become increasingly restricted.
The number of Israeli settlers storming the holy site has risen sinceÂ US president Donald Trumpâ€™s declaration of occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.Â Members of the so-called â€śTemple Mountâ€ť movement have been publicly calling its followers to participate in wide scale mass raids on the holy site.