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Israeli settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Israeli settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem

Last month, more than 1,800 Jewish settlers stormed the courtyard of the al-Aqsa mosque [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 May, 2016

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Israeli settlers stormed the courtyard of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem on Monday - the latest controversial raid on the Muslim holy site.

Scores of Jewish-Israeli settlers stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Monday, under the protection of Israeli forces, Palestinian activists said.

The raid came days after the end of the Jewish Passover holiday

"A group of settlers provocatively roamed the courtyard of the mosque this morning," al-Aqsa and Jerusalem Affairs Centre said. "They were protected by Israeli forces."

Earlier on Monday, a separate group of Jewish settlers - believed to be from far-right messianic groups - occupied an archaeological site in Nabulus, in the West Bank.

Clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli forces at the site in Tell Balata, sources told The New Arab, although no causalities were reported.

Last month, more than 1,800 Jewish settlers stormed the courtyard of the al-Aqsa mosque, according to the latest figures documented by Quds Press news agency.

This year, nearly 5,000 Jewish settlers broke into the east Jerusalem compound that houses the al-Aqsa Mosque and the famed golden Dome of the Rock, two of the holiest sites in Islam.

Since January, 4,840 Jewish settlers have desecrated the Aqsa Mosque courtyards, the Palestinian Information Centre reported.

"This number is considered the highest compared to the same period in previous years," the group said.

These figures reflect repeated provocations and an escalation in violence against Palestinians in the occupied territories.

The compound - occupied by Israel in the 1967 war - has been annexed by Israeli forces in a move deemed illegal under international law. 

Last September, clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces erupted in the compound amid fears that Tel Aviv will change the rules governing the site, which allow Jews to visit but not pray there.

Tensions have since heightened as Jewish protesters continue to storm the holy side under the protection of Israeli forces.

The new wave of violence has left 28 Israelis dead and more than 200 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire.

Palestinian officials say knife attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians are the result of despair from living under occupation.

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