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3 Knesset members storm Al-Aqsa compound

Three members of Knesset forced their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound today.

In a statement, Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, which oversees the city’s holy sites, said Likud members Yehuda Glick and Amir Ohana and Shuli Mualem of the Jewish Home party stormed the compound through the Mughrabi Gate under tight security.

Yesterday, Israeli Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel stormed the flashpoint compound, for the first such tour by an Israeli official since 2015.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lifted a three-year ban on government officials and Knesset members visiting the site. Netanyahu then allowed Knesset members to visit the compound once every three months, according to local Israeli media.

In October 2015, Netanyahu banned Knesset members from entering the Al-Aqsa compound in an effort to calm violence that broke out across the occupied West Bank as a result of repeated incursions by Jewish settlers into the site.

In September 2000, a visit to the Muslim site by late Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the Second Intifada, a popular Palestinian uprising in which thousands of people were killed.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem – in which the Al-Aqsa is located – during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the entire city in 1980, unilaterally claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state.

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