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Jewish groups tour Al-Aqsa Mosque compound
Published Sunday 02/03/2014 (updated) 02/03/2014 14:42
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(MaanImages)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Groups of Israeli Jews entered the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday morning through the Moroccan Gate escorted by a large contingent of Israeli police officers.

Witnesses told Ma'an that more than 40 settlers entered the compound in groups, and that a large group was led by the controversial rightist lawyer Yehuda Glick.

Worshipers shouted "God is Great" in Arabic while the groups toured the compound and heated arguments were reported.

Yehuda Glick is an American-born Israeli who has been banned in the past by Israeli authorities from entering the compound due to provocations while on the site. He is the chairman of the controversial Temple Mount Heritage Fund.

Critics charge that the Temple Mount Heritage Fund leads Jewish tours to the site with the intention of leading Jewish prayer there -- currently banned under Israeli agreements -- and encouraging Jews to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque and build a Jewish temple there.


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.

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.
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1 ) Colin Wright / USA
02/03/2014 11:12
Notice how Israel can never leave well enough alone. An absence of resistance merely excites them to more egregious acts of oppression.

2 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
02/03/2014 11:39
Note that the guards immediately stop the visit if the Jews start to pray. Note that the Palestinian Muslims reject the international right of free access to all holy sites, and want Jews totally banned from the site. Note as well, that anti-Israel Jew haters always come up with the false arguments that there never was a Jewish temple. So, time for the anti-Israel haters to weigh in with their comments about how the world will be better off if only they could wipe out 8 million Israelis.

3 ) ian / australia
02/03/2014 13:47
Ick. I hate the sight of those guys traipsing around the Aqsa (Is that wrong?) I always think, having gotten themselves there with their armed guards, having caused disruption and alarm in the process, having ascended the Temple Mount for their Big Moment...they look like they don't know what to do. They just don't belong and they must know it. Compare them to the photos of Palestinians standing silently guarding the Qubbat al-Sakhra at night. THAT is a connection to a holy place,

4 ) ian / australia
02/03/2014 13:47
(contd.) to a defining national cultural icon. Jews have their Herodian/Roman/Ottoman Wall to get all misty about which Palestinians have no interest in and would gladly give to them in a gesture of good will. Isn't that enough?

5 ) Susan Shaw / UK
02/03/2014 23:06
I always wonder how, anyone who professes to be so 'religious', can show so much arrogance and delight in spoiling the tranquillity of such a special place. To feel the need to tramp all over with armed guards, mimicking the Muslims reference to God, when Judaism (as I understand) doesn't allow the name of the Almighty to be profaned, is surely at odds with Jewish teaching. But then these are 'Zionist Extremists', and Brian Cohen (2) wonders why Jews are not wanted in the vicinity of the mosque.
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