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Right-wing Jews tour Al-Aqsa compound under police escort

May 10, 2015 12:16 P.M. (Updated: May 10, 2015 12:16 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- A group of right-wing Jews entered the Al-Aqsa mosque compound Sunday morning under the armed protection of Israeli police and army officers, witnesses told Ma'an.

The group of up to 30 right-wing Jews entered through the Moroccan gate and were met with cries of "Allah Akbar" from Muslim worshipers.

Witnesses said that one of group stopped at the Chain Gate to perform "religious rituals," but compound security guards along with Muslim worshipers prevented him, and he was led from the compound by Israeli officers.

Meanwhile, Palestinian women who Israeli forces have banned from the compound reportedly attempted to gain to access to the compound despite their bans.

The third holiest site in Islam, the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is also venerated as Judaism's most holy place as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood.

Following Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has maintained an agreement with the Islamic trust that controls the Al-Aqsa compound not to allow non-Muslim prayer in the area.

Jewish prayer is allowed at the neighboring Western Wall, which is the last remnant of the Second Temple.

However, Israeli forces regularly escort Jewish visitors to Al-Aqsa, leading to anger among Muslim worshipers.
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