Tensions high as right-wing Israelis tour Aqsa compound

February 18, 2016 /

Tensions rose at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Wednesday when dozens of right-wing Israelis toured the holy site under Israeli police escort, witnesses said.Some 133 right-wing Israelis, including religious students, were reported to have entered the compound through the Moroccan Gate.They attempted to perform religious rituals at the al-Rahma Gate, but were prevented by Palestinian youths.Witnesses said that a small fight broke out between an Israeli police officer and an Al-Aqsa guard during the tour.Tensions have run high at the mosque compound in recent months. Many Palestinians fearing that Israel is seeking to renege on a longstanding agreement preventing non-Muslim prayer in the compound, although Israel has denied that this is the case.Large numbers of Jewish worshipers toured the compound during a succession of Jewish holidays in September, and these tours, accompanied by restrictions on Palestinian worshipers, played a major role in triggering a wave of Palestinian protests in October.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.

Source Ma’an News