Israeli forces detain 3 during clashes in Al-Aqsa


Maan News Agency Published Feb 21, 2012 Updated Feb 22, 2012

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained three Palestinians in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Tuesday, after clashes broke out when two groups of Israelis toured the holy site.

Witnesses told Ma’an that eight Israelis and a group of tourists were escorted by more than 40 Israeli soldiers into the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) early Tuesday.

Later, 22 female Israelis entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where they clashed with Palestinian women praying there, they said. A group of Palestinian youth intervened, sparking intervention by Israeli police.

An Israeli police officer and a soldier were injured in the ensuing clashes, the witnesses said, adding that forces blocked entry to the religious compound to people under 40-years-old after the incident.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Al-Sumari said the detentions came after Palestinians threw stones and shoes at police officers.

On Sunday, three Palestinians were detained inside the compound when clashes broke out with Israeli forces. Police detained 18 others after the incident.

In its weekly meeting on Tuesday, the PA cabinet slammed “continuous attempts by settlers and extremists to raid Al-Aqsa Mosque and conduct religious rituals on its campuses in a manner that provokes Muslim sentiments and creates a state of tension,” saying it holds the Israeli government responsible.

Tensions at the sacred complex have been heightened after far-right Israeli politician Moshe Feiglin tried to make a publicized visit to the site a week ago, and leaflets were distributed around the city calling to remove “Israel’s enemies” from the site.

Police also blocked Feiglin from entering and briefly closed the holy compound last Sunday, saying they feared unrest after the extremist literature circulated the city.

The compound, containing the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, is the third holiest site in Islam and abuts the site where Jews believe the ancient Second Temple stood, attracting the far-right to pose the rebuilding of the Jewish site on the sanctuary.


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