Scores of Jewish settlersforced their way into East Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound onSunday to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Passover.
"Israeli police allowed 167 settlers to storm the compound incelebration of Passover," an official with the Religious Endowments Authority,a Jordan-run authority responsible for overseeing the city's Muslim andChristian holy sites, told Anadolu Agency on condition ofanonymity.
He said the commander of Israeli police was among the settlerswho forced their way into the flashpoint site.
Passover, which commemorates the Israelites' exodus from Egyptduring the time of Prophet Moses, is considered one of the most importantholidays on the Jewish religious calendar.
Last year, more than 1,500 settlers forced their way into theAl-Aqsa compound during Passover.
For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiestsite. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount", claimingit was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War.It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewishstate in a move never recognized by the international community.