5 June, 2014 World Bulletin
Jerusalem, Palestine – Scores of Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem on Thursday, according to a mosque guard.
“Some 200 settlers, backed by Israeli special forces, stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound this morning,” Omar al-Qiswani told Anadolu Agency.
He said Muslim worshippers inside the compound had shouted “Allahu Akbar!” (“God is Great”) as the settlers poured into the compound.
According to eyewitnesses, Jewish settlers had tried to perform Talmudic rituals inside the compound, but were prevented from doing so by mosque guards.
In recent months, groups of extremist Jewish settlers, often accompanied by Israeli security forces, have repeatedly forced their way into the Al-Aqsa complex. The frequent violations anger Palestinian Muslims and occasionally lead to violent confrontations.
A total of 6311 Israelis stormed the Al-Aqsa compound from the beginning of 2014 until June 2, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage, a Palestinian NGO, said.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. In 1980, it unilaterally annexed the area and claimed Jerusalem as its “unified capital” in a move never recognized by the international community.