By Anees Barghouthi
JERUSALEM – For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site
A group of Jewish settlers backed by Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the city of Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) on Thursday.
“Fifty-two Israeli soldiers in military uniform stormed the compound,” mosque guard Naser Qoues confirmed to Anadolu Agency.
According to the Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage, 70 Jewish settlers – led by extremist Rabbi Yehuda Glick, chairman of the so-called Temple Mount Heritage Foundation – stormed the compound through the Al-Magharbeh Gate.
In recent months, groups of extremist Jewish settlers – often accompanied by Israeli security forces – have repeatedly entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex. The frequent violations anger Palestinian Muslims and occasionally lead to violent confrontations.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site.
Jews refer to the area as the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied Al-Quds during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state.