World Bulletin / News Desk
Dozens of extremist Jewish settlers and students on Tuesday stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) under heavy Israeli police guard, a Palestinian official said.
"More than 40 Jewish extremists and 70 Jewish students stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex," Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, director-general of the Organization for Muslim Endowments and Al-Aqsa Affairs (which is run by the Jordanian government), told Anadolu Agency.
"Since the early hours of Tuesday, large numbers of Jewish extremists – led by Rabbi Yehuda Glick – have gathered outside [Al-Quds'] Al-Magharbeh Gate," he said.
Palestinian religious students inside the mosque complex, meanwhile, were infuriated by the intrusion, he added.
In a related development, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowments and Heritage has warned that Jewish groups were calling on the Israeli public to take part in preparations for "sacrifice events," which they hope to hold inside the Al-Aqsa compound on the eve of the Jewish Passover holiday on April 22.
The foundation, a Palestinian NGO devoted to safeguarding Al-Aqsa from Israeli depredations, said the planned rehearsal for the so-called "sacrifice events" were due to take place on April 10 in western Jerusalem, where Jewish groups will perform mock temple sacrifices.
"Extremist groups sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to facilitate their entry into the [Al-Aqsa] compound and allow the construction of a synagogue roughly 200 meters west of the compound," the foundation said in a statement.
In recent months, groups of extremist Jewish settlers, often accompanied by Israeli security forces, have stepped up their intrusions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, the world's third holiest site for Muslims.
The frequent violations anger Palestinian Muslims and occasionally lead to violent confrontations.
Jews refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
In September 2000, a visit to the site by late Israeli leader Ariel Sharon triggered what later became known as the "Second Intifada" – a popular uprising in which thousands of Palestinians were killed and injured.
Israel occupied the Palestinian city of Al-Quds during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the new self-proclaimed Jewish state.Last Mod: 01 Nisan 2014, 14:32