Saturday 22 February 2020
News ID: 71488
Publish Date: 08 October 2019 - 21:59

OCCUPIED AL-QUDS (Dispatches) -- Hundred of Israeli settlers broke into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in annexed East Jerusalem Al-Quds on Tuesday - guarded by Zionist troops and escorted by an Israeli MP and a minister - to mark the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, local media reported.
Around 300 hardline settlers raided the compound - a week after around 400 extremists barged into the site to mark the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.
Agriculture minister Uri Ariel and Yehuda Glick, an MP from the right-wing Likud party, were among those who entered the compound on Tuesday as well as last week.
Both Ariel and Glick have been encouraging extremists to raid the Al-Aqsa compound.
On Monday evening, thousands of settlers occupied compound around the Buraq Wall known to Jews as the Western Wall.
Zionist troops set up checkpoint on roads leading to the Buraq Wall, and Palestinians were required to show their identity cards at the gates of the Al-Aqsa compound in order to enter.
Israeli extremists regularly enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, where they claim the second Jewish temple once stood.
Extremists like Glick have advocated for the destruction of the Muslim compound to make way for a third Jewish temple.
They have repeatedly sought to build support for an increased Jewish presence at the site, despite a longstanding joint guardianship agreement between the occupying regime of Israel and Jordan, which retains custodianship over Christian and Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem Al-Quds.
According to the agreement, non-Muslim prayer is not authorized at Al-Aqsa. However, Israeli forces regularly accompany groups of extremists seeking to violate the rules in the compound.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque is one of the holiest sites in Islam. It was also Islam's first Qibla, the direction towards which Muslims must turn to pray, before that was changed to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia.
Palestinians fear that settler tours inside the Al-Aqsa compound may erode their claims to Old City which is home to Dome of the Rock, and further extinguish their aspirations for full rights and a state of their own, with occupied East Al-Quds as its capital.
The Zionist military on Tuesday put the occupied West Bank on complete lockdown in order to pave the way for Israeli extremists to mark Yom Kippur in Jerusalem Al-Quds.
The regime said all crossings into the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip will remain closed until Thursday morning.
The occupied Palestinian territories have been the scene of heightened tensions since August 2015,  triggered by an Israeli move to impose restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

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