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Israeli police detain Palestinian woman near al-Aqsa Mosque

Jan. 12, 2014 12:33 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 14, 2014 11:11 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli police officers detained a young Palestinian woman Sunday morning as she tried to enter the al-Aqsa Mosque compound through the Chain Gate.

Witnesses told a Ma'an reporter that Hiba al-Taweel, a student who takes courses on Islamic teaching in the compound, was detained.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld was not familiar with the incident.

Separately, more than 30 Jewish Israelis led by right wing extremist Yehuda Glick toured the al-Aqsa compound on Sunday.

Yehuda Glick is an American-born Israeli and the chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Fund, an extremist Jewish organization focused on "strengthening the relationship between Israel and the Temple Mount." He has been previously banned by Israeli authorities from entering the compound due to provocations while on the site.

Critics charge that the Fund actually leads tours to the site with the intention of leading Jewish prayer there -- currently banned under Israeli agreements -- and encouraging Jews to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque and build a Jewish temple there.

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.

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

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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