Israeli Jewish settlers are set to stage a controversial flag march through occupied East Jerusalem to mark Israel’s occupation of the city in 1967.
Hundreds of Israeli settlers have forced their way into the flashpoint Al Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem amid tensions over a planned flag march by settlers through the occupied city.
“Around 1,044 Israeli settlers stormed the Al Aqsa compound since the morning,” the Jordan-run Waqf Department, which oversees the holy sites in Jerusalem, said in a statement on Sunday.
Eyewitnesses said Israeli police stormed the mosque courtyard on and allowed settlers into the site through the compound’s Al-Mugharbah Gate.
Far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir, a notorious Israeli opposition figure, and a number of his supporters were reportedly among those who stormed the complex.
According to witnesses, Israeli police chased Palestinian worshippers inside the complex. A number of worshippers were reportedly detained by Israeli forces.
Three Palestinians were also injured on Sunday in an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank, according to a local medical source.
The settler intrusion into the Al Aqsa complex comes as Israeli settlers plan to stage a controversial flag march to mark what they call the day of unifying Jerusalem, in reference to Israel’s occupation of the city in 1967.
Al Aqsa Mosque is the world's third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Since 2003, Israel has allowed settlers into the compound almost daily.
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 recognised by the international community.