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Hundreds of Israeli rightists enter Aqsa compound

June 5, 2014 11:36 A.M. (Updated: June 5, 2014 5:46 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Over one hundred right-wing Israelis entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Thursday as part of celebrations for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.

Some 170 right-wing religious Jews entered the compound, including Michael Ben-Ari, a former MK, and far-right Jewish activist Yehuda Glick.

Glick is the chairman of the controversial Temple Mount Heritage Fund, which seeks to establish a Jewish Temple in the Asqa compound.

Palestinian worshipers chanted 'Allahu Akbar' at the group, who were escorted around the area under armed guard.

Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, from the PA's endowment ministry, said Al-Aqsa is going through a "dangerous phase" and criticized Israeli police for allowing the visits to take place.

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.
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