World Bulletin / News Desk
“Dozens of Israeli police officers stormed the compound and arrested 12 Palestinians while reading the Holy Quran in the mosque courtyards,” Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, told Anadolu Agency.
No details were available why the 12 Palestinians were arrested.
Meanwhile, some 53 Jewish settlers forced their way into the flashpoint site since morning, according to al-Dibs.
“The number of the settlers storming the mosque is expected to increase,” he 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 Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community.