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Dozens of Israelis storm Aqsa complex on Passover

April 5, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Israeli settlers can be seen after they stormed into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem on 22 July 2018 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Dozens of Jewish settlers on Sunday forced their way into Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, an intrusion that coincided with the Jewish Passover celebrations.

“About 70 settlers overran Al-Aqsa Mosque compound Sunday morning through the Mughrabi Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City, stirring the ire of many Muslim worshippers in the complex,” Director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque Omar al-Kaswani told Anadolu Agency.

Kaswani also dismissed allegations by Israeli media outlets that worshippers attacked settlers inside the compound.

Passover is a seven-day celebration during which Jews commemorate their people’s emancipation from slavery in ancient Egypt.

Earlier Sunday, Israeli police said that it allowed settlers into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in groups of ten, according to Israel’s Channel 10.

In recent months, groups of extremist Jewish settlers – often accompanied by Israeli security forces – have repeatedly forced their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

The frequent violations anger Palestinian Muslims and occasionally lead to violent confrontations.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Meanwhile, the Religious Endowment Office in the West Bank’s southern Al-Khalil city told AA that Israeli authorities have informed them that the Ibrahimi Mosque will be fully closed for Muslim worshippers on Sunday and Monday due to Jewish holidays.

Revered by both Muslims and Jews, Al-Khalil’s Al-Ibrahimi Mosque complex is believed to mark the burial sites of the prophets Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.