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Foundation: Israelis perform religious rites at Al-Aqsa

Sept. 23, 2012 2:51 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 24, 2012 10:25 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Three groups of Israelis were given a guarded tour of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, a religious foundation said Sunday.

The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Heritage and Waqf (Islamic endowment) said 130 Israelis toured the holy compound accompanied by rabbis and soldiers, and performed religious rituals.

It said the groups caused a state of tension with the several hundred students present in the mosque.

The Al-Aqsa compound, containing the mosque and the Dome of the Rock, is the third holiest site in Islam and abuts the site where Jews believe the ancient Second Temple stood. Some in the far right in Israel propose building a Jewish temple on the sanctuary.

The flashpoint site is under the custody of the Islamic endowment authorities, and visits by Israeli extremists have been roundly condemned by Palestinian officials.

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