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Israel imposes restrictions on Muslims as 320 settlers storm Al-Aqsa

April 25, 2019 1:23 P.M. (Updated: May 1, 2019 2:24 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Large consecutive groups of dozens of Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, on Thursday, under the protection of heavily armed Israeli forces and police, on the fifth day of the Jewish holiday of Passover, also known as Pesach.

A Ma'an reporter said that more than 320 Israeli settlers stormed the compound since 7 a.m. through the Moroccan Gate.

Heavily armed Israeli forces and police provided protection to Israeli settlers as they provocatively toured the Al-Aqsa compound.

Sources pointed out that a large group of Israeli settlers performed Jewish religious rituals while in the compound.

Sources confirmed that Israeli checkpoints were erected throughout the streets and alleyways around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and many others were blocked off with iron barriers and sandbags blocking the movement of locals.

In addition, Israeli forces searched Muslim worshipers and checked their identity cards prior to allowing them entry to the compound.

It is noteworthy that Israeli authorities regularly impose restrictions on the entrance of Palestinian Muslim worshipers to the Al-Aqsa compound, which is located in the heart of occupied East Jerusalem.

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.

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