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Israeli forces ban Jerusalemites entry, as settlers storm Al-Aqsa

Oct. 10, 2018 3:23 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 11, 2018 11:27 A.M.)
JERSUALEM (Ma'an) -- Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, on Wednesday.

According to the Islamic Endowment (Waqf) Department, 82 Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa compound via the Moroccans Gate, which is under full Israeli control and toured the compound.

Sources added that Israeli forces banned three Jerusalemites, who are employees of the Islamic Endowment (Waqf) Department, from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli forces handed summon notices for further interrogation to the employees, who were identified as Khalil al-Tarhuni, Ahmad Abu Alia and Khamis Attiyeh.

Sources confirmed that Israeli forces also handed a summon notice to an Al-Aqsa Mosque guard, Hamza al-Nabali, for interrogation at an Israeli police station in the Old City.

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 is prohibited according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government after Israel's illegal occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

Despite the agreement with Jordan -- which is the custodian of Al-Aqsa -- Israeli authorities regularly allow Jewish visitors to enter the site, often under armed guard. 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.
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