Hundreds of Jewish settlers on Sunday forced their way into East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, according to Jerusalem’s Religious Endowments Authority.
“Israeli police shut the compound’s Al-Mugharbah Gate after allowing 334 settlers through it into the site,” the Jordan-run authority tasked with overseeing the city’s Muslim and Christian holy sites, said in a statement.
Last week, a settler tour inside the flashpoint site during the final day of the fasting month of Ramadan triggered clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian worshippers.
For Muslims, the 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.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, in which the Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.
In a move never recognised by the international community, Israel annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the self-proclaimed Jewish state’s “eternal and undivided” capital.