JERUSALEM, September 18, 2022 (WAFA) – Scores of Israeli settlers escorted by police today broke into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem and performed rituals throughout its courtyards, according to witnesses.
The Jordan-run Islamic Waqf Department, in charge of the holy site, said scores of Israeli settlers entered the compound through the Moroccan Gate in groups and performed rituals and Talmudic prayers there under the protection of Israeli police officers.
The development comes amid calls by far-right Temple Mount organizations urging their members and supporters to break into the holy site en masse on September 29 on the occasion of the Jewish New Year.
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.
The Islamic Waqf 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 Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, during the Six-Day War in 1967 in a move never recognized by the international community.