07:24 GMT07 March 2021
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    On Thursday, around 150 Jewish settlers, backed by at least 30 Israeli policemen, stormed East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, according to Palestinian officials.

    "About 150 Jewish settlers — backed by at least 30 policemen — have forced their way into the mosque compound since morning," Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for Jerusalem's Religious Endowments Authority, told Anadolu Agency, also adding that some of the settlers tried to perform Talmudic rituals before exiting the site. The Talmud is the main text of Rabbinic Judaism.

    ​The complex is known in Judaism as the Temple Mount and in Islam as the the Noble Sanctuary.

    In Islam, the Noble Sanctuary is the site of the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, a seventh-century shrine where the Prophet Muhammad's journey to heaven is believed to have begun. On the other hand, in Judaism, the eastern gate of the compound is believed to be where the Messiah will enter Jerusalem.

    On Tuesday, Israeli police shut down the Al-Aqsa Mosque after one of the Israeli police stations near the compound was set on fire. According to reports, Israeli police entered the compound and attacked many of the Muslims who were praying inside. Around 16 Palestinians are believed to have been injured during the clashes with Israeli police, according to multiple reports. The compound was eventually opened a day later. 

    In 2016, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a resolution that denies any Jewish historic link to the Temple Mount and surrounding holy sites in Jerusalem.

    In April, UNESCO's executive board released and then adopted a similar resolution, calling Israel "the Occupying Power" and urging it to "stop all violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque." A total of 33 countries voted for the resolution, Sputnik previously reported.


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