Dozens of Israeli settlers escorted by police officers forced their way into Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Wednesday, the Islamic Endowments Authority said.
“Around 66 settlers stormed the complex this morning,” the authority said, adding that Rabbi Yehuda Glick, famous for his calls to intensify settler incursions into the site, was among the intruders.
More settlers are expected to tour the holy site later in the day.
Since 2003, Israel has allowed settlers into the flashpoint compound almost on a daily basis with the exception of Fridays and Saturdays.
Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.
*Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara contributed to this report
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