Right-wing Knesset speaker storms Al Aqsa Mosque amid tensions
The Knesset's Deputy Speaker Moshe Feiglin (center), walks through Jerusalem's Old City after storming the Al Aqsa Mosque, October 2, 2014 (File/AFP)
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Israel's Knesset Deputy Speaker Moshe Feiglin forced his way on Sunday into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem amid high tensions in the holy site.
"Feiglin and nine Jewish settlers stormed the complex amid angry shouts from Muslim worshippers," Sheikh Omar al-Qiswani, the Palestinian director of the Al-Aqsa complex, told Anadolu Agency.
According to al-Qiswani, the Israeli police imposed restrictions on the access of Palestinian worshippers, banning men under 40 from entering the holy site.
Tensions remain high in Jerusalem after Israeli forces on Thursday killed a young Palestinian man – who had been suspected of shooting an extremist rabbi a day earlier – in a raid on his East Jerusalem home.
For Muslims, 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 during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
In September 2000, a visit to the site by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the "Second Intifada," a popular uprising against the Israeli occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.
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