World Bulletin / News Desk
Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel, accompanied by a number of Jewish settlers, stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the city of Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) on Tuesday amid a heavy Israeli security presence.
"The Israeli housing minister, accompanied by 27 settlers, stormed the Al-Aqsa compound through the Al-Magharbah Gate as Israeli police looked on," Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, director-general of Muslim endowments and Al-Aqsa affairs, told Anadolu agency.
"The minister wandered into the compound from the Al-Magharbah gate, passing through the Al-Qibali and Marwani mosques before leaving from the Al-Selsela Gate," he added.
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 controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon triggered what later became known as the "Second Intifada," in which thousands of Palestinians were killed and injured.
Israel occupied Al-Quds during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state.
Israel arrests 11 Palestinians in W. Bank
Israeli authorities on Tuesday arrested several Palestinians in the West Bank, eyewitnesses said.
According to witnesses, Israeli forces raided homes in Nablus, Jenin and Al-Khalil (Hebron), arresting a total of 11 Palestinians.
A Hamas student leader at Al-Khalil University was among those arrested, they added.
Israeli authorities have yet to comment on Tuesday's arrests.
Israeli forces routinely conduct raids in the West Bank claiming to be looking for "wanted" Palestinians.Last Mod: 11 Şubat 2014, 13:50