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Israeli minister visits Aqsa compound under guard

Feb. 11, 2014 6:39 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 12, 2014 12:09 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Right-wing Israeli housing minister Uri Ariel visited the the al-Aqsa mosque compound on Tuesday under armed guard, a mosque official said.

Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, the director of Jerusalem endowments and al-Aqsa affairs, told Ma'an that Ariel and 27 rightist settlers entered the mosque compound through the Moroccan Gate.

The group toured the area and then left via the Chain Gate.

Muslim worshipers and students shouted "Allahu Akbar" at the minister, and Israeli police officers collected the identity cards of Palestinians in the the area.

Separately, Israeli police officers prevented the entry of equipment to fix a water pipe in the compound.

Last year, Ariel said that Israel should have full sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa compound and that the site must be open "at any hour to every Jew."
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