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Israeli police prevent women from entering Aqsa for the 2nd day

Aug. 14, 2014 10:20 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 16, 2014 8:54 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian women were forced to pray at the doors of the holy Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem's Old City for the second day running after Israeli police denied Muslim Palestinian women entry on Thursday.

Witnessess told Ma'an that Israeli police restricted women of all ages as well as men under 30 from entering the compound since dawn, as police barricades around the compound remained up for a second day.

All gates into the compound were reportedly closed except for three.

Dozens of people denied entry gathered near the gates and protested visits by Jewish worshipers with heavily-armed police escorts to the compound.

Israeli police allowed Palestinians to enter the compound after 3:00 p.m, after a large Jewish group completed its tour.

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 under armed escort to the site, leading to tensions 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.

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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