Over 3900 Jewish settlers forced their way into East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound last month alone, a Palestinian official said Wednesday.
“The highest number of incursions [by settlers] was recorded in July,” Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for Jerusalem’s Jordan-run Religious Endowment Authority, said in a statement.
He said around 3908 settlers and Israeli soldiers stormed the flashpoint site last month.
“This is a clear indication of the increasing violations by settlers in the holy site,” al-Dibs said.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community.
Sacred to both Muslims and Jews, Jerusalem is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which for Muslims represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews refer to the area as the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied territories,” considering all Jewish settlement building on the land illegal.