World Bulletin / News Desk
Dozens of Jewish extremists on Tuesday stormed the Aqsa Mosque compound in the city of Al-Quds (East Jerusalem).
"Settlers, under the protection of Israeli police, stormed the Aqsa compound through the Magharbeh Gate," Mahmoud Abu Atta, spokesman for the Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage, told Anadolu Agency.
The settlers were led by extremist Jewish Rabbi Yehuda Glick, chairman of Israel's Temple Mount Heritage Foundation.
For several hours, Israeli police prevented Palestinians from entering the compound.
"Israeli police also detained Hossam Sader, a 50-year-old employee of the Aqsa rehabilitation committee," said Abu Atta.
In recent weeks, groups of Jewish settlers – often accompanied by Israeli security forces – have repeatedly entered the Aqsa Mosque complex. The frequent violations anger Palestinian Muslims and occasionally lead to violent clashes.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site.
Jews refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied the city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) after the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state.
SETTLERS PERFORM TALMUDIC RITUALS IN NABLUS
Clashes erupted on Tuesday after hundreds of Jewish settlers, backed by Israeli security forces, stormed the West Bank city of Nablus and performed Talmudic rituals at the site known as Joseph's Tomb.
"At dawn today, Jewish settlers backed by Israeli forces were bussed to Joseph's Tomb, where they performed Talmudic rituals and held noisy celebrations until the late morning," Ahmed Shamekh, chairman of the services committee at the nearby Balata refugee camp, told Anadolu Agency.
"Israeli forces have since imposed a cordon around the city's eastern neighborhoods and the Balata refugee camp," he added.
Israeli forces used rubber bullets and teargas to disperse Palestinian residents, leaving dozens suffering from gas inhalation, medical sources told AA.
Joseph's Tomb has long been a flashpoint for potential violence.
Jews believe the site to be the burial place of the biblical patriarch Joseph. Muslims, however, challenge this claim, saying an Islamic cleric – Sheikh Yussef Dawiqat – was buried at the site two centuries ago.Last Mod: 03 Aralık 2013, 13:36