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Israeli police deny Palestinian women entry to Aqsa

Sept. 2, 2014 7:50 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 6, 2014 11:57 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli police on Tuesday denied Palestinian women entry to the al-Aqsa compound for the third consecutive day, locals said.

Palestinian worshipers told Ma'an that Israeli police officers prevented women from entering the holy site from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"Does saying Allah Akbar (God is Great) out loud disturb the settlers? It is the settlers who intrude upon us and it is we who have the right to enter al-Aqsa without any Israeli restrictions," a female worshiper told Ma'an.

Israeli police officers confiscated the identity cards of women who entered the holy site at dawn to ensure that they would not stay for longer, witnesses said.

On Sunday, Israeli police officers erected checkpoints at all gates to the holy compound and denied Palestinian women access.

Men were allowed to enter the compound after inspection, meanwhile, although some were asked to leave their identity cards at the checkpoints.

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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