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Israeli army recruits, rightists tour Aqsa compound
Published Wednesday 19/03/2014 (updated) 20/03/2014 17:24
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(MaanImages/file)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Dozens of Israeli soldiers and settlers toured the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Wednesday, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Endowment said.

Over 90 Israeli army recruits entered the compound via the Moroccan Gate and were escorted by Israeli police officers.

The visit was part of an Israeli army orientation tour, the PA ministry said.

Over 20 extremists also entered the mosque compound, it added.

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 ) Edward / USA
20/03/2014 22:28
As a Hebrew-speaking Jew, I write every time I see stories like this: I hope Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims are mobilizing against this forcible assertion of Jewish control over your holy site. Soon, there will be calls to build a synagogue unilaterally. Jewish tradition (masoreh) about the Mount should be reviewed and rabbis and imams (not politicians) should discuss the ties of both faiths to the site and how to act on that responsibly. Using force, indoctrinating soldiers is not the way!

2 ) Wardah / Oman
22/03/2014 13:13
Sadly the world is in moral decline, and the work of shaitaan (devil) becomes more evident everyday. I agree that using violent means to access other people's holy sites and harming worshippers there is not a good way to behave, nor is it a manifestation of faith. Many of our scholars have spoken out about the abuses committed there. I too would like to see dialogue between rabbis & sheiks (imams) on the issue, maybe in a neutral place like Egypt which has a great Islamic institution; Al Azhar.

3 ) Boil / Romania
23/03/2014 03:51
The 57 Islamic countries hardly have a good track record of how they have treated their resident Christians. As for their resident ex Jews, they have mostly already fled.@2 I use Egypt as a great example.
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