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Israeli police detain minor for raising Palestinian flag at Aqsa

March 30, 2016 4:22 P.M. (Updated: March 30, 2016 7:26 P.M.)
(AFP/Thomas Coex, File)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli police detained a Palestinian minor for raising the Palestinian flag over the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Wednesday, while right-wing Israelis under police escort toured the holy site.

Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli police responded after the youth raised the flag over the mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem's Old City, in what may have been intended as an act to mark the 40th Land Day.

Witnesses said the boy was assaulted before he was taken away.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld confirmed the arrest had taken place, saying the minor had been "removed from the scene and was being questioned."

Meanwhile, witnesses told Ma'an that police escorted around 30 right-wing Israelis through the mosque compound, entering via the Moroccan Gate.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound has seen heightened tensions in recent months, and many Palestinians fear that Israel is seeking to renege on a longstanding agreement preventing non-Muslim prayer in the compound, although Israel denies this.

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.

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

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