Dozens of Jewish settlers have stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in a marked escalation of their attacks on Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. The Palestinians call the attacks "provocative".
Eyewitnesses said that a number of illegal Jewish settlers started to enter the compound early on Thursday morning accompanied by Israeli Special Police officers. They spread around in groups after entering via the Moroccans' Gate.
Due to the number of Palestinians at the morning prayers, the settlers were unable to roam as freely as they were expecting. As more Palestinians arrived and starting shouting, "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great) the police forces shepherded the settlers towards the exit gate.
A number of senior rabbis have called on settlers to invade Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings to perform rituals during the Jewish Festival of Lights (Hanukkah).