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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Israeli soldiers 'tour Al-Aqsa compound'

Published Sunday 08/01/2012 (updated) 09/01/2012 13:51
(MaanImages/Moti Milrod, File)

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Uniformed Israeli soldiers entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage said.

Describing the forces as "behaving aggressively," the foundation said ten soldiers walked around the compound with a tour guide.

Such incidents are a violation of the sanctity of the compound and set a dangerous precedent, the organization said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was not familiar with any official visit by troops.

The Al-Aqsa compound, containing the 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.

The flashpoint site is under the custody of the Waqf (Islamic Endowment) authorities, and visits by Israeli extremists have been roundly condemned by Palestinian officials.

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