More than 1200 settlers entered Al-Aqsa in March: NGO
By Alaa Rimawi, Wednesday, April 09, 2014
RAMALLAH – A total of about 1250 Jewish settlers forced their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) over the course of last month, according to a report by a Palestinian NGO.
Many of those who forced their way into the holy site – usually backed by Israeli police – performed Jewish rituals in the Al-Aqsa courtyards, triggering clashes with Palestinian guards and Muslim students, the report, issued by the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, which documents Israeli violations in the holy city, stated.
Among those who made controversial visits to the site last month were Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel, Knesset Member Moshe Feiglin and extremist Jewish rabbi Yehuda Glick, the statement noted.
Also in March, Israeli occupation forces detained 120 Palestinian residents of Al-Quds, including 120 minors, and banned another 20 from the city for various periods, according to the NGO.
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.
Palestinians insist that Al-Quds will be the capital of their future state.
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