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Israel’s Ben-Gvir storms Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in East Jerusalem

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published May 22,2024

Israel's far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir forced his way into the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday.

The intrusion was the first by the extremist minister since Israel launched its deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip that killed more than 35,600 people following a Hamas attack last Oct. 7.

The Jordan-run Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem did not provide any details about Ben-Gvir's intrusion into the site.

According to an Anadolu reporter, Ben-Gvir was escorted by heavy police presence as he entered the complex.

Wednesday's raid was the fourth by Ben-Gvir since he became a national security minister in 2022.

Since 2003, Israel has allowed illegal settlers into the flashpoint compound on an almost daily basis with the exception of Fridays and Saturdays.

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.

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 recognized by the international community.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to prevent genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.