Israeli border police officers guard the front of Damascus Gate outside Jerusalem's Old City during a parade marking Jerusalem Day, May 8, 2013. (Photo: Reuter)
Around 70 Israeli female soldiers raided the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Monday morning, in addition to around ten military intelligence personnel and about 25 Israeli settlers, according to a press release by the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Religious Endowments and Islamic Heritage.
According to the statement, there have been numerous incidents of Israeli security forces and settlers storming the Islamic site in recent days, coinciding with requests submitted to the Israeli government by Jewish organisations to perform religious rituals at the site.
On Sunday afternoon, Tzipi Hotovely, Knesset member for Israel's right-wing Likud Party, entered the grounds of Al-Aqsa Mosque accompanied by her cousins and a handful of Jewish rabbis.
Hotovely had said she wanted to visit he Temple Mount – considered a holy site for Jews – on the eve of her wedding.
She went on to say it was imperative that Jews enjoy easy access to the site, levelling criticism at Israeli police for preventing high-profile Israeli figures from entering the mosque compound.
The Jerusalem-located Al-Aqsa Mosque is considered the third holiest site in Islam.