1,720 Israelis stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque this year
Monday, February 24, 2014
By Abdel-Raouf Arnaout
AL-QUDS - A total of 1,720 Israelis stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) since the start of 2014, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said.
In a Monday statement, the foundation said that 1,061 Israelis, including 645 Jewish settlers, stormed the compound in January.
The foundation went on to say that some 659 Israeli stormed the holy site in February.
Israeli officials could not be reached for comment.
In recent months, groups of extremist Jewish settlers, often accompanied by Israeli security forces, have stepped up their intrusions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, the world's third holiest site for Muslims.
The frequent violations anger Palestinian Muslims and occasionally lead to violent confrontations.
Jews refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
In September 2000, a visit to the site by then opposition politician Ariel Sharon triggered what later became known as the "Second Intifada" – a popular uprising in which thousands of Palestinians were killed and injured.
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.
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