Settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque, call for more raids

Ghada Atef , Tuesday 21 Jul 2015

Al-Aqsa compound
Muslim worshippers run as tear gas fired by Israeli policemen rises during clashes at Al-Sqsa mosque (Photo: Reuters)

Dozens of Jewish settlers broke into Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City early Tuesday amid tight security by the occupation forces, Palestinian news media reported.

"About 32 settlers stormed Al-Aqsa mosque through Al-Magharba Gate, which is controlled by Israeli occupation authorities, while Palestinian worshippers chanted 'Allahu Akbar'," Mahmoud Abu Elata, the media officer of Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa press, or "Qpress," told Palestinian News agency SAFA.

He added that the settlers divided themselves into three groups before entering the mosque. Meanwhile, Israeli forces tightened security measures on Palestinian arrivals to the mosque and checked their IDs.

According to Abu Elata, similar actions are expected in the coming days as the settler group (Jabal Al-Haikal) called for more attacks.

Al-Aqsa mosque was closed to settlers for 13 days, during the last ten days of the month of Ramadan and the three days of Eid Al-Fitr.

Settlers are reported to storm Al-Aqsa mosque and clash with Palestinians on a regular basis.

Muslims consider Al-Aqsa mosque the world's third holiest site.

Israelis refer to the area that encompasses Al-Aqsa mosque as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 war. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a declaration not recognised by the international community.

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