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Israeli forces escort rightists at Aqsa compound

May 27, 2013 5:29 P.M. (Updated: May 29, 2013 2:41 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli security forces and right-wing Jews toured the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Monday accompanied by intelligence officials, a local group said.

The al-Aqsa Foundation said in a statement that the female officers led the group through the Moroccan Gate, before splitting into separate groups.

Muslim worshipers shouted "Allahu Akbar" at the group, the statement said, adding that such visits have increased recently.

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.

Also Monday, settlers from the religious Zionist Ateret Cohanim organization took control of two shops belonging to a Palestinian family in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Witnesses said dozens of settlers guarded by Israeli police raided the two shops. They evacuated all the contents of the shops and changed the locks. She shops had been closed for years.

The group claims that the stores were seized before 1948 under the Absentee Property Law, and an Israeli court had ordered evacuation of the stores.

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