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Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa under army protection

Some 27 Jewish settlers yesterday stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque via Al-Magharbeh Gate and toured the holy site escorted by Israeli troops, Palestinian news websites reported.

One of the Israeli settlers entered the mosque via the Al-Rahmah Gate and, under the protection of the Israeli army, he performed Talmudic rituals inside the third holiest site for Muslims.

The settlers stormed the mosque in the wake of calls, by right wing Jewish groups, for people to complete Talmudic rituals in Al-Aqsa.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army and police have been imposing a strict blockade around the mosque, which has been inforce for more than three weeks, banning Palestinians from entering the mosque at certain times.

The Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs of Palestine condemned the Israeli practices against worshipers and the aggression against Al-Aqsa.

It said the Israeli occupation forces had prevented many women from entering the mosque, as well as a large number of Palestinian youths. It also said that the Israeli police held the IDs of many worshipers before allowing them to enter the mosque.

Palestinian officials, including Sheikh Raed Salah, and Israeli media have revealed that the Israeli government had started implementing a plan of dividing the mosque between Muslims and Jews.

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