Scores of police-guarded Israeli settlers on Sunday broke into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem in groups and performed rituals across the courtyards of the Mosque.
The Jordanian-run Islamic Waqf Department in charge of the holy site said scores of Israeli settlers entered the compound through the Moroccan Gate in successive groups and performed rituals and Talmudic prayers there under the protection of Israeli police officers.
Since 2003, the Israeli occupation authorities have allowed settlers into the compound almost on a daily basis with the exclusion of Friday — the Muslim day of rest and worship.
Last month alone, 4,426 Israeli settlers made their way into the holy site and prayed there in violation of the historic status quo and signed agreements banning non-Muslim prayers at the holy site.
The Islamic Waqf Department has repeatedly described the settlers’ presence in Al-Aqsa Mosque as provocative, saying that Palestinian worshippers and guards at Al-Aqsa feel uncomfortable with the presence of Israeli police and settlers touring the Islamic holy site.
Israel captured East Jerusalem — where the mosque is located — during the Six-Day War in 1967 in a move that was never recognised by the international community.