Israeli rightists raise flag in Asqa compound
Published Monday 14/10/2013 (updated) 16/10/2013 19:23
A general view of the Al-Aqsa compound.(MaanImages/file)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A group of Israeli right-wingers raised the Israeli flag while touring the Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Monday, locals said.
Witnesses said that a group of 14 Israeli rightists pulled out an Israeli flag while touring the religious site and began dancing and singing.
The men were removed from the area by Israeli police and arrested.
Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, the director of Islamic endowment, said that he asked Israeli police to close the compound to visitors following the incident, and not to allow Israeli extremists to enter the area.
Jerusalem's Old City is located in East Jerusalem, which is internationally recognized as occupied Palestinian territory.
The compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque and is the third holiest site in Islam.
It is also venerated as Judaism's most holy place as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
According to mainstream Jewish religious leaders, Jews are forbidden from entering for fear they would profane the "Holy of Holies," or the inner sanctum of the Second Temple.