15 February 2018
Tens of thousands of Israeli settlers made provocative visits to Al-Aqsa Mosque during 2018, the Department of Islamic Waqf (Religious Endowment) in occupied Jerusalem said in January.
The department’s director, Azzam Al-Khatib, said 29,801 “Israeli extremists” entered into the holy mosque last year; a 17 per cent increase compared to 2017.
The Israeli raids, Al-Khatib added, were usually facilitated and guarded by Israeli security forces through the mosque’s Al-Mugharbi Gate, which has been under the occupation’s control since 1967.
“All the year’s  statistics indicate the escalation of the Israeli violations against Al-Aqsa,” the Palestinian official said. He described the Israeli violations as a “blatant attack on Al-Aqsa’s sacredness.”