JERUSALEM 

Dozens of Jewish settlers, accompanied by Israeli police, forced their way into Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex on Monday, according to a Palestinian agency.

In a statement, the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf (religious endowments) said 45 settlers entered the site through the compound’s al-Mugharbah Gate.

Palestinian religious authorities have repeatedly called on the Israeli government to halt settler visits to the holy site as they trigger confrontations with Muslim worshippers.

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.

*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara

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