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PA ministry condemns Al-Aqsa violations

Sept. 10, 2013 3:18 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 11, 2013 11:08 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority ministry of foreign affairs on Tuesday condemned Israeli violations at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and urged the Arab League and UN to hold an emergency session.

The ministry strongly denounced the entry of dozens of Israeli rightists to the mosque compound on Tuesday under heavy armed guard.

The PA also condemned remarks made this week by Israeli police chief Yohanan Danino, who said visiting the holy compound was "an undisputed right for Jews."

"This is an invitation to a religious war in the region, and official encouragement urging the extremist Jewish groups to storm al-Aqsa Mosque and ruin it," the ministry said.

Earlier, dozens of Israeli rightists entered the Al-Aqsa mosque compound under heavy police guard.

Head of the Islamic Higher Commission, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, told Ma'an that repeated incursions by Jewish extremists "confirm Israeli ambitions and the risks to the mosque."

He pointed to the division of the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron, which is separated into two parts.

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.

According to mainstream religious leaders, Jews are forbidden from entering for fear they would profane the "Holy of Holies" the inner sanctum of the Second Temple.
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