Rightist Israelis tour Aqsa, 4 Palestinian women denied entry
Published Tuesday 14/01/2014 (updated) 15/01/2014 16:59
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- A group of right-wing Israelis led by US-born Jewish extremist Yehuda Glick toured the al-Aqsa compound on Tuesday, witnesses said.
The group consisted of around 25 people.
Meanwhile, Palestinian tour guide Ehab al-Jallad was detained by Israeli police while touring the compound with a group of students.
The reason behind his arrest is unclear.
Four Palestinian women were also denied entry to the mosque compound by Israeli forces, with no reason given.
An Israeli police spokesperson could not be reached for comment.
Because of the sensitive nature of the Al-Aqsa compound, Israel maintains a compromise with the Islamic trust that controls it to not allow non-Muslim prayers in the area. Israeli forces regularly escort Jewish visitors to the site, leading to tension with Palestinian worshipers.
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.
Al-Aqsa is located in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian territories that have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.