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Dozens of Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa compound

April 9, 2019 2:59 P.M. (Updated: April 10, 2019 3:58 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in occupied East Jerusalem, and performed religious prayers, on Tuesday.

Locals sources said that large groups of Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa compound through the Moroccan Gate and performed Talmudic prayers while under the armed protection of Israeli forces and police, who were deployed across the compound.

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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