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

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

No accidents have 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 yr helped spark an 11-day struggle 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. At the moment, it’s residence to the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest web site in Islam. Tensions on the compound have often spilled over into violence through the years.

The Jews have 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 greater than on typical days. It accused Israeli police of utilizing heavy-handed ways and stated some guests violated a long-standing established order 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 rapidly secured the realm. Novice video confirmed police firing what gave the impression to be rubber bullets, a typical crowd-control tactic, and Muslim worshippers have 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 realm “is a purely Islamic mosque that won’t settle for division or partnership.”

The go to got here days earlier than Muslims have a good time the competition 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 non secular struggle.”

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 towards the mosque are rejected and condemned,” stated Daifallah al-Fayez, spokesman for Jordan’s International 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 attempting to vary the norms of the positioning to permit Jewish prayer.

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

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