Police and settlers stormed the Al Alqsa compound in occupied East Jerusalem during dawn prayers, a move condemned by Turkey and the EU.

An Israeli police officer stands guard as settlers storm the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem, on July 18, 2021.
An Israeli police officer stands guard as settlers storm the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem, on July 18, 2021. (AP)

More than 1,000 Israeli settlers and police have forced their way into the flashpoint Al Aqsa Mosque compound, amid tension over a planned settler incursion into the flashpoint site, according to a Palestinian agency.

In a statement, the Islamic Endowment Department in Jerusalem said that 1,210 settlers broke into the compound through its Israeli-controlled Al-Mughrabi Gate, southwest of the mosque, and performed their rituals inside.

According to eyewitnesses, groups of settlers attempted to storm the compound through the Bab Huta Gate and King Faisal Gate but were confronted by Palestinian worshippers.

Earlier Sunday, Israeli forces shut all entrances and gates to the Al Aqsa compound.

Israeli settler groups have called on supporters to force their way into Al Aqsa compound in large numbers on Sunday to mark what they call the “destruction of the temple” in ancient times.

READ MORE: Israeli police storm Palestinian protesters at Al Aqsa Mosque

The so-called Sovereignty Movement in Israel is also preparing to organise a march for settlers around the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem on the same day.

On Saturday, hundreds of settlers staged a march in occupied East Jerusalem ahead of their planned incursions on Sunday.

Al Aqsa Mosque is the world's third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognised by the international community. 

READ MORE: President Erdogan denounces 'terrorist' Israel over Jerusalem aggression

Source: AA