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Israeli settlers break into al-Aqsa Mosque to celebrate Jewish holiday

Hundreds of illegal Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on April 25, 2024 under heavy protection from the regime's police forces.

Thousands of Israeli settlers have stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds to mark a Jewish holiday, in yet another provocative move against Palestinian worshipers.

"More than 500 settlers stormed Al-Aqsa from the Mugharbah Gate and carried out provocative rounds and performed Talmudic rituals in its courtyards,” the Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem said in a statement on Sunday.

The department added that the settlers intruded into the Muslim holy site as they were protected by the regime’s police, who tightened military measures at the gates of the Old City and Al-Aqsa Mosque during a week-long Jewish holiday, known as Passover.

It is expected that the Israeli settlers will continue their incursions into the mosque until afternoon prayers on Sunday, it added.

Tensions have been running high in recent days in various parts of the occupied Old City since the first day of Passover, which began on Monday, as hundreds of illegal settlers forced their way into the Aqsa Mosque compound under tight police measures.

On Thursday, nearly 1,700 illegal Israeli settlers intruded into the mosque compound in groups to mark Passover, the Islamic Endowments Department in al-Quds said.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site for Muslims.

Far-right Israeli groups have previously called for widespread incursions into the mosque on the occasion of Passover.

Under an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government in the wake of the regime’s occupation of al-Quds in 1967, non-Muslim worship at the holy compound is prohibited. But the ban is a mere phrase and, in action, circumstances have been against Muslims.

While the settler intrusions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound take place in al-Quds, the regime keeps its bloody war machine going in the Gaza Strip.

At least 34,454 Palestinians have been killed and 77,575 others injured in more than six months of aggression imposed by the Israeli regime on the people in Gaza.

The war began in early October after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas launched an unprecedented military operation into the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories near Gaza, killing nearly 1,200 Israeli settlers and military forces.

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