Nearly 30,000 settlers stormed Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa in 2019

Nearly 30,000 settlers stormed Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa in 2019
Jerusalem's Islamic endowment organisation said nearly 30,000 Israeli settlers invaded al-Aqsa Mosque.
2 min read
01 January, 2020
Settlers have stormed al-Aqsa frequently [Getty]

Nearly 30,000 Israeli settlers forced their way into Al-Aqsa Mosque in 2019, Jerusalem's Islamic Endowment - or Waqf - organisation said this week.

According to Azzam Khatib, director of Jerusalem's Waqf department, 29,610 Israeli settlers stormed al-Aqsa Mosque last year with being armed by occupying police forces.

"All signs and data indicate an escalation in the frequency of violations against the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings during this year through a series of unprecedented trespasses, which constitute an infringement on the historical and legal status of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque as an Islamic mosque for Muslims alone under the patronage of King Abdullah II (of Jordan)," he said.

Khatib warned against "attempts by the occupying power to exploit the issue of Al-Aqsa Mosque as a platform to achieve political gains and for electoral propaganda for individuals and groups, who do not understand the dangers of these actions, in their efforts and insistence to agitate the feelings of millions of Muslims around the world".

Read more: Jews should be able to pray at al-Aqsa: Israeli minister

Jews are barred from praying at the compound under a longstanding arrangement between Israel and the religious organisation. While Jews are permitted to visit, Jewish tradition also maintains that Jews should avoid entering the holy site.

However, the ban on Jewish worship is regularly condemned by some nationalists, including members of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyhu's right-wing coalition.

Jordan's foreign ministry expressed "the kingdom's strong condemnation" over Erdan's comments, demanding "an immediate end to Israel's violations and all its attempts to change the historic and legal status quo" at the site. 

Al-Aqsa mosque is the third holiest place in Islam and a key Palestinian national symbol.

The Temple Mount is also the holiest spot in Judaism, believed to be the site of two biblical-era Jewish temples.

It is located in occupied East Jerusalem, which was illegally annexed by Israel in 1967.

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