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Israeli forces detain 4 Palestinians at Aqsa compound sit-in

Sept. 3, 2014 10:23 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 4, 2014 10:28 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Wednesday detained four Palestinians and assaulted dozens of others near the Council Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, as dozens protested against restrictions on women's entrance into the holy Al-Aqsa compound.

Palestinians from Jerusalem organized a sit-in to protest the prevention of women from entering Al-Aqsa for the 4th day in a row, but Israeli forces dispersed the protesters with batons and detained one.

Israeli forces also prevented women from praying in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and forced them out of the area around noon.

Some women said they were struck by Israeli soldiers wielding batons, and one woman from Beersheba suffered bruises on her arms and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, Israeli Jews lead by right-wing fundamentalist Rabbi Yehuda Glick entered al-Aqsa compound from the Moroccan Gate.

Three Palestinian worshipers were arrested as Israeli forces provided cover for the Jewish group to enter.

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.

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.

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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