Scores of far-right Israelis toured the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound early today under heavy police protection, official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
According to Wafa, the Israelis entered the compound through the Mughrabi Gate while dozens of Palestinian Muslim worshippers were attending a religious seminar in its courtyard.
While Jewish visitation is permitted to the compound, non-Muslim worship at Al-Aqsa is prohibited according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government after Israel’s illegal occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.
Despite the agreement with Jordan – which is the custodian of Al-Aqsa – Israeli authorities regularly allow Jewish visitors to enter the site and hold prayers, often under armed guard.
The measures sparked widespread protests, as Palestinians said the Israeli move was the latest example of occupation authorities using Israeli-Palestinian violence as a means of furthering control over important sites in the occupied Palestinian territory and normalising repressive measures against Palestinians.