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A whole lot of Jews go to contested holy web site in Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM (AP) — A whole lot of Jewish pilgrims visited a contested Jerusalem holy web site beneath heavy police guard on Sunday, shortly after Muslim worshippers briefly clashed with Israeli safety forces on the flashpoint shrine.

No accidents had been reported, however the incident once more raised tensions on the hilltop compound revered by Jews and Muslims. Heavy clashes on the web site earlier this 12 months helped spark an 11-day battle between Israel and Hamas militants within the Gaza Strip.

Jews revere the positioning because the Temple Mount, the place the biblical Temples as soon as stood. It’s the holiest web site in Judaism. Right this moment, it’s residence to the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest web site in Islam. Tensions on the compound have regularly spilled over into violence over time.

The Jews had been visiting to mark Tisha B’Av, a day of mourning and repentance when Jews replicate on the destruction of the First and Second Temples, key occasions in Jewish historical past.

The Islamic Waqf, which administers the positioning, stated that some 1,500 Jews entered the compound — a quantity a lot larger than on typical days. It accused Israeli police of utilizing heavy-handed techniques and stated some guests violated a long-standing establishment settlement barring Jews from praying on the web site.

Forward of the go to, Israeli police stated a small group of Muslim youths threw rocks at safety forces who shortly secured the world. Beginner video confirmed police firing what seemed to be rubber bullets, a standard crowd-control tactic, and Muslim worshippers had been barred from getting into the compound for a number of hours.

In a press release, the Wafq, the Islamic physique that administers the positioning, accused Israel of “violating the sanctity” of the mosque by permitting “Jewish extremists to storm the mosque, make provocative excursions and carry out public prayers and rituals.”

It stated the world “is a purely Islamic mosque that won’t settle for division or partnership.”

The go to got here days earlier than Muslims have fun the pageant of Eid al-Àdha, or Feast of the Sacrifice.

Nabil Abu Rdeneh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, accused Israel of “dragging the area into a spiritual battle.”

Jordan, which serves because the custodian over Muslim websites in Jerusalem, stated it had despatched a letter of protest to Israel and urged it to respect the established order.

“The Israeli actions in opposition to the mosque are rejected and condemned,” stated Daifallah al-Fayez, spokesman for Jordan’s Overseas Ministry.

Israel’s new prime minister, Naftali Bennett, praised police for his or her dealing with of the go to and vowed to guard “freedom of worship” for Jews and Muslims on the web site.

His feedback raised hypothesis that Israel could be making an attempt to vary the norms of the positioning to permit Jewish prayer.

However Public Safety Minister Omer Bar-Lev instructed Channel 13 that Israel stays dedicated to the established order and that Jewish prayer on the web site is “in opposition to the legislation.”

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