JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli police detained several men from the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Thursday, following reports that settlers had entered the area and sparked anger.
Minister of Waqf and religious affairs in Gaza Taleb Abu Sha’ar sounded the alarm shortly before noon, saying Jewish worshipers had made the provocative move of entering the Haram Ash-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, where the mosque is located within the Old City of Jerusalem.
Abu Sha'ar said the visit of the settlers to the holy Muslim courtyards was a violation of the religious rights of worshipers at the compound, since settlers were accompanied by a heavy guard which restricted the access of Palestinians to the mosque.
The visit, Abu Sha'ar said, came as the second violation of the sanctuary by settlers in one week, adding that on the first and last days of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, settlers had entered the area.
Security sources in Jerusalem said several were detained when hostilities broke out. An Israeli police spokesman was not available by phone for comment.