Dozens of Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque
Dozens of Israeli settlers broke into Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque on Monday, amid increasing violence in the region, according to local reports.
The settlers were protected from Israeli police as they broke into the third-holiest site in Islam, local sources told the Palestinian Wafa news agency.
Israeli provocations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque are not uncommon. In early January the new Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir formed the holy site, drawing widespread international condemnation.
The settlers raided the site from the Al-Maghariba gate and performed provocative tours and Talmudic rituals in its compounds, the sources said.
The reports come amid increasing violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank following the Israeli government's entry to power, which has seen Israeli forces kill at least 32 Palestinians in 2023 alone.
Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians during a deadly massacre in the West Bank's Jenin on Thursday and proceeded to bomb the besieged Gaza Strip on Friday morning, causing the destruction of several properties. No injuries were reported.
In response to the Jenin attack, a Palestinian gunman on Friday killed seven people outside a synagogue in a settler neighbourhood of occupied east Jerusalem, and another attack followed on Saturday.
Israeli troops also killed a Palestinian driver in the occupied West Bank on Monday, officials on both sides said, with the army saying the car had hit a soldier's leg before speeding off.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in Tel Aviv on Monday on the second leg of his Middle East tour, ahead of talks urging a de-escalation in violence, and is due to travel to Jerusalem.
The US envoy will also travel to Ramallah in the West Bank for talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.