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320 settlers storm Al-Aqsa

File photo of Israeli forces with in the Al-Aqsa compound
Israeli forces within the Al-Aqsa compound

More than 320 Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of Israeli forces today on the fourth day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

The Islamic Endowment (Waqf) in Jerusalem reported that 323 Israelis toured the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound this morning, entering through the Al-Maghrebi Gate and exiting through Al-Silsilah Gate.

Eyewitnesses said that a group of Israelis began performing religious rituals while in the compound, in contravention of agreements regulating the religious site, and were prevented from doing so by Al-Aqsa Mosque guards.

Severe restrictions on movement for Palestinians are typically implemented by Israeli authorities during Jewish holidays for alleged security purposes, while tensions around Al-Aqsa Mosque were a main contributor to increasing unrest that began last October, after right-wing Israelis made frequent visits to the site during the Jewish holiday season.

Israeli authorities meanwhile closed the checkpoints between the occupied West Bank and Israel, as well and the blockaded Gaza Strip and Israel between Saturday night and Monday night.

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