Middle East

Hundreds of settlers enter J'lem's Al-Aqsa for Passover

Jewish settlers perform religious rituals near Al-Qibali, Dome of Rock mosques, Palestinian official says

Aness Suheil Barghoti   | 25.04.2019
Hundreds of settlers enter J'lem's Al-Aqsa for Passover file photo


Hundreds of Jewish settlers on Thursday entered Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex to mark the weeklong Jewish Passover holiday, according to a Palestinian official.

“Over 320 Jewish settlers forced their way into the mosque compound to celebrate their holiday,” Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for Jerusalem’s Religious Endowments Authority (a Jordan-run agency tasked with overseeing the city's Muslim and Christian holy sites), told Anadolu Agency.

According to al-Dibs, the settlers -- accompanied by Israeli police officers -- performed religious rituals near the Al-Qibali and Dome of the Rock mosques.

Passover, which commemorates the Israelites’ flight from Egypt during the time of Prophet Moses, is considered one of the most important holidays on the Jewish calendar.

This year, Passover began on the evening of April 19 and will end on the evening of April 27.

Last year, more than 1,500 settlers entered the Al-Aqsa compound during the weeklong holiday.

For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount", claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, in which the Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

In a move never recognized by the international community, Israel annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the self-proclaimed Jewish state’s “eternal and undivided” capital.

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