Saturday, Sept. 05
Latest News
  1. Hungarian parliament introduces emergency anti-migration laws
  2. Putin says Assad agrees to early parliamentary polls
  3. Morocco votes in test for Islamist government
  4. UAE says 22 Emirati soldiers killed in Yemen
  5. Bob Geldof offers to house four Syrian families
  6. IS blows up famed tower tombs at Syria's Palmyra
  7. Drowned Syrian boy Aylan buried as Europe wrangles over refugees
  8. EU under pressure to agree refugee quotas as ministers meet
  9. Israeli army: 5 tourists attacked by local residents in Hebron
  10. Death toll in IS Yemen mosque attack rises to 32
  11. Netanyahu defends Iran deal fight after Obama secures support
  12. Security sources: 4 Turkish police killed in PKK bombing
  13. Hungary's Orban: Migrant crisis is German, not European problem
  14. WHO: Liberia declared free of Ebola - again
  15. Official: over 230,000 refugees arrive in Greece this year
  16. Guatemalan president resigns over corruption firestorm
  17. Double suicide attack kills 30 in North Cameroon
  18. Italy PM says Europe 'cannot just get emotional' about migrants
  19. Court: Two British reporters held in Turkey to be released
  20. Chung claims 'fraud' in FIFA presidential poll

Israel closes al-Aqsa mosque to worshipers

Sept. 18, 2013 10:10 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 21, 2013 1:30 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli troops forcibly entered the al-Aqsa mosque compound on Wednesday and deployed heavily around the entrances, preventing Palestinian worshipers from accessing the area, locals said.

Israeli troops entered the compound through the Moroccan Gate and the Chain Gate and denied all Palestinians, including women and chidlren, entry to the area.

Around 500 students who study at religious schools in the al-Aqsa compound were also denied access to their schools, witnesses said.

Meanwhile, a group of ultra-orthodox Jews were allowed entry to the area at around 8 a.m. through the Moroccan Gate. Dozens of Palestinian worshipers who were in the mosque hurled stones at the group, before being chased by Israeli forces.

They were then held in the southern mosque and attacked with pepper spray, witnesses said.

Hundreds of worshipers gathered near the main gates leading to al-Aqsa in protest against restricted access to the area.

Israeli officers hit several people, including women, with clubs near the Bab al-Huta.

A series of recent visits by Israeli rightists have created a sense of fear among al-Aqsa authorities about control of the holy site.

Head of the Islamic Higher Commission, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, told Ma'an last week 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 now 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.

Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015