JERUSALEM, Palestine – Hundreds of Israeli settlers advanced on Thursday to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem.
Türkiye’s Anadolu news agency reported that the settlers marched into the mosque under heavy protection from Israeli forces to mark a Jewish vacation.
In a statement, the Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem said 252 Israeli settlers entered the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Mosque through the mosque’s western wall.
Earlier, Israeli groups had called on settlers to step up their storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex to mark the Jewish festival of Shavuot on Thursday and Friday.
The department added that Israeli police have also been restricting access for Palestinians since morning prayers.
Israel has allowed settlers into the mosque almost every day since 2003.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site in the world.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, annexing the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.