Hawzah News Agency (Occupiied Palestine) - “Hundreds of settlers stormed the compound along with a large Israeli police force,” Firas al-Dibis, a Palestinian official with Jerusalem’s Islamic Waqf, which oversees the city's holy sites, said in a statement.
He said the storming followed calls by Jewish organizations for followers to converge on the compound as Israel is marking the 51st anniversary of occupying Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War, before annexing the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community.
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.
Tension has grown across the Palestinian territories in recent months, amid Palestinian rallies demanding the right to return to their homes in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
At least 48 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds injured by Israeli gunfire since the rallies began on March 30.
The rallies will culminate on May 15, which will mark the 70th anniversary of Israel's establishment -- an event Palestinians refer to as the "Nakba" or "The Catastrophe."