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In video - Israeli settlers perform religious rituals at Al-Aqsa

Sept. 6, 2018 2:47 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 9, 2018 9:50 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Dozens of Israeli settlers held prayers, on Thursday, at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, ahead of the Jewish new year.

According to eyewitnesses, a large number of Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque under the heavy protection by Israeli forces; many began to perform religious prayers in the compound as Jewish holidays approach.

Sources also mentioned that Israeli forces forced security guards of Al-Aqsa to keep distance from the Israeli settlers and to not interfere while they performed prayers.

The standing rules of the compound state that non-Muslims can visit the holy site during regular visiting hours but are not allowed to perform any religious prayers.

According to the Islamic Endowment (Waqf) department, Israeli settlers attempted to provoke Muslim worshipers as they publicly performed Jewish prayers.

Endowment officials said that the number of Israeli settlers storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque has increased due to the Jewish new year next week.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque. The third holiest site in Islam, it is also venerated as Judaism's most holy place, as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood.

While Jewish visitation is permitted to the compound, non-Muslim worship is prohibited according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government after Israel's illegal occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

Despite the agreement with Jordan -- which is the custodian of Al-Aqsa -- Israeli authorities regularly allow Jewish visitors to enter the site, often under armed guard. Such visits are typically made by right-wingers attempting to unsettle the status quo at the site, and coincide with restrictions on Palestinian access, including bans on entrance and detentions.

The videos below show Israeli settlers performing religious prayers in the compound:

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