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In video - Hundreds of Israeli settlers take to Al-Aqsa for Sukkot

Sept. 26, 2018 3:36 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 27, 2018 12:42 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem, on Wednesday, to perform religious Talmudic rituals for the third day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

Locals confirmed that hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed the holy site's compound in large successive groups via the Iron Gate; one of the compound's entrances, and performed rituals in the area.

Israeli settlers danced and sang carrying palm branches and playing musical instruments, while kneeling on the ground.

Israeli forces and police escorted settlers and were deployed across the compound, setting up metal barriers to secure settlers' visit.

Head of the Public Relations and Media Department at the Islamic Endowment (Waqf), Firas al-Dibs, said that some 382 Israeli settlers stormed the compound since morning hours.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque. The third holiest site in Islam, it is also venerated as Judaism's most holy place, as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood.

While Jewish visitation is permitted to the compound, non-Muslim worship at Al-Aqsa is prohibited according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government after Israel's illegal occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

Despite this agreement, the Israeli authorities regularly allow Jewish visitors to enter the site -- often under the protection of armed guards. Such visits are typically made by right-wingers attempting to unsettle the status quo at the site, and coincide with restrictions on Palestinian access, including bans on entrance and detentions.

The videos below show Israeli worshipers entering the compound and performing prayers:

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