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Israel denies outlawed Muslim group entry to to Aqsa, assaults members

Dec. 3, 2015 2:01 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 3, 2015 2:03 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces assaulted a group of Palestinian women after they were denied entry to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Thursday, witnesses said.

One of the women, Khadijah Khuweis, told Ma'an that the group, locally known as the Murabitat, were sitting outside the Hutta Gate after being denied entry to the holy site when Israeli officers suddenly began to push them back and hit them.

“In a few seconds, Israeli forces chased the women and started to push and beat them before they were able to leave the place,” Khweis said.

One of the women, Ayda Sidawi, fell to the ground after Israeli officers pushed her and was evacuated to hospital for treatment, she added.

Meanwhile, over 70 right-wing Israeli Jews toured the Al-Aqsa compound under armed Israeli police guard, locals said.

Israeli forces at the entrances to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound have a blacklist of groups and individuals banned by the Israeli government from entering.

In September, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon outlawed the Murabitat and Murabitun, Muslim groups who gather at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to demonstrate against what they see as increasing Israeli control over the holy site, above all visits by Israeli rightists under armed guard.

Last month, Israel's security cabinet outlawed the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, which reportedly established the groups.

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.
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