Far-Right Jews to Hold Temple Stone-Laying Ceremony in Jerusalem
A small group of ultra-nationalist Jews have been authorized to hold a symbolic ceremony on Thursday to lay a cornerstone for a new Jewish temple outside Jerusalem's Old City, a police spokesman said.
The Temple Mount Faithful "have received, just like they do each year, authorization to hold the ceremony, but they will not be allowed to approach the sector of the Old City," Jerusalem police chief Shmuel Ben Ruby told AFP.
The ceremony is to be held on a parking lot outside the Old City, which lies in annexed east Jerusalem.
In July, the same group of far-right Jews briefly laid a 4.5 ton stone outside the gates of the Old City, near the ruins of the historic Second Temple.
The Israeli supreme court had denied the group permission to lay the stone on the Temple Mount itself, the sacred Jewish site which is also home to the third holiest place in Islam, the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.
That symbolic stone-laying, which was unanimously condemned as a provocation by the Arab world, sparked fierce clashes between Palestinian protestors and Israeli police.
The ceremony was held to mark Tisha Be'Av, when Jews commemorate the destruction of the first and second Jewish Temples, the latter razed by the Romans in 70 A.D.
The group vows it will one day build a new temple on the site -- JERUSALEM (AFP)
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