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Israeli agriculture minister, settlers defile Aqsa Mosque

Israeli agricultural minister Uri Ariel on Thursday morning led a group of Jewish settlers as they were touring the Aqsa Mosque’s courtyards under tight police guard.

According to local media sources, right-winger Ariel desecrated the Mosque along with a group of settlers and provided them with information about the alleged temple mount.

Other groups of settlers also entered the Mosque through al-Maghariba Gate and toured its courtyards.

The Aqsa Mosque is exposed to daily desecration by Jewish settlers in the morning and the afternoon except on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Israeli police close al-Maghariba Gate, which is used by Jews to enter the Mosque, at 10:30 am after the settlers complete their morning tours at the holy site. Later in the afternoon, the same gate is reopened for evening tours by settlers.

During the presence of settlers inside the Mosque compound, entry restrictions are imposed on Muslim worshipers at the entrances leading to the Mosque and their IDs are seized until they leave the holy place.