Hundreds of Jewish settlers on Sunday forced their way into Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, according to a Palestinian official, Anadolu reports.
“Since the morning, over 1,729 Jewish settlers have entered the compound,” Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for Jerusalem’s Religious Endowments Authority said in a statement.
“The settlers incursions were backed by Israeli police officers,” he said.
Palestinian Red Crescent, meanwhile, said that 61 Palestinian were injured after Israeli forces attacked the worshipers with rubber bullets, teargas and truncheons.
“The worshipers were moderately injured and 16 of them were transferred to hospitals for further treatment,” it added.
The Islamic Waqfs in Jerusalem decided to delay Eid prayers to 7.30 a.m. (0430 GMT) instead of 6.30 a.m. (0330GMT), to address settlers’ call to storm the Al-Aqsa in the so-called “memory of the destruction of the Temple.”
Extremist Jewish organizations, known widely as Temple Mount groups, had called for massive raids on the Al-Aqsa during this week.
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.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, in which the Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.
In a move never recognized by the international community, it annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the Jewish state’s “eternal and undivided” capital.