Right-wing Israelis storm Al-Aqsa compound

Published July 21st, 2015 - 11:16 GMT
Right-wing Israelis regularly enter the Al-Aqsa compound, causing tensions with Palestinians. (AFP/File)
Right-wing Israelis regularly enter the Al-Aqsa compound, causing tensions with Palestinians. (AFP/File)

Right-wing Jews toured the Al-Aqsa mosque compound Tuesday morning, while Israeli police restricted the access of Palestinian worshipers entering the compound, witnesses said.

The Israeli police reportedly held the Palestinians' ID cards as they entered the compound, using their personal details as leverage to ensure Israeli restrictions were respected.

It was reported that right-wing Jewish organizations were calling for a march to the compound on Wednesday morning to celebrate the site's "re-opening for Jews" by the Israeli authorities.

At the end of June, International Crisis Group reported discussions between Israel and the Islamic Endowment that controls the mosque compound on possibly allowing non-Muslim worship at the site, although the move has not yet been confirmed.

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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