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Israeli Police Enter Jerusalem Mosque

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  • Leonard Grossman
    http://www.newsday.com/ap/text/topnews/ap786.htm AP Top News Israeli Police Enter Jerusalem Mosque by JASON KEYSER Associated Press Writer JERUSALEM (AP) --
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 29, 2001
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      http://www.newsday.com/ap/text/topnews/ap786.htm

      AP Top News
      Israeli Police Enter Jerusalem Mosque

      by JASON KEYSER
      Associated Press Writer

      JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli police entered the mosque
      compound that
      is Jerusalem's most contested religious site on Sunday
      and fired
      stun grenades at Muslims who were throwing stones at
      Jews
      worshiping nearby.

      Seven Palestinians and six Israeli police were injured,
      according to police and Israel's army radio.
      Hundreds of police entered the compound to pursue the
      Muslim
      stonethrowers, while Jews praying at the Western Wall
      down below
      fled the barrage of rocks, with some holding plastic chairs
      above
      their heads for protection, Israel radio said.

      Earlier Sunday, police blocked a small group of
      ultranationalist
      Jews who sought to march on the mosque compound,
      known to Jews as
      the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.
      The Jewish group, the ''Temple Mount Faithful,'' wanted
      to plant
      a cornerstone for a future Jewish temple on the
      compound, the site
      of the two Jewish biblical temples. Two mosques,
      including the
      golden Dome of the Rock, now stand on the compound,
      atop the ruins
      of the ancient temples.

      The Temple Mount Faithful was allowed to hold a short
      ceremony
      in a parking lot outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City.
      The
      group brought a large cornerstone meant to symbolize
      the
      reconstruction of the temple.

      After the ceremony, the cornerstone was taken from the
      area in
      order not to provoke Arab anger. The Temple Mount
      Faithful,
      numbering no more than 30, demonstrated near a gate
      leading to the
      mosques where hundreds of police turned them back.

      Inside the compound, about 2,000 Muslim worshippers
      gathered to
      oppose any efforts by the group to break into the area.
      Sarsour, an Arab Israeli and leader of the Islamic
      Movement,
      warned that any radical Jew forcing his way onto the
      mosque
      compound would provoke a confrontation.

      ''If, God forbid, these people will break through the police
      blockades, we will defend the mosques with our bodies,''
      Sarsour
      told Israel radio.

      The compound, which is the holiest site in Judaism and
      the third
      holiest site in Islam, is where Israeli-Palestinian violence
      erupted last September, sparking a Palestinian uprising
      that is now
      10 months old.

      The Temple Mount is the site of the two biblical Jewish
      Temples.
      Two mosques, including the golden Dome of the Rock,
      now sit atop
      the ruins of the temples.

      Israel claims sovereignty over the site, though an Islamic
      trust
      has day-to-day control of the compound. Since the
      violence broke
      out, only Muslims have been allowed inside the
      compound.

      Israeli police were also out in force to protect Jewish
      worshippers gathered at the Western Wall and the
      adjoining plaza,
      which are on the edge of the compound. Observant Jews
      were marking
      Tisha B'Av, a holiday commemorating the destruction of
      Jewish
      temples at the site.

      Muslim groups called for worshippers to come to the
      mosques in
      large numbers to prevent any attempt by Jews to enter
      the compound.

      But Levy said police would keep order.

      Both sides claim sovereignty over the compound, which
      was one of
      the most contentious issues in the Israeli-Palestinian
      peace
      negotiations that collapsed amid the current fighting.

      AP-NY-07-29-01 0612EDT<


      

      07/29/2001=====================
      Leonard Grossman
      http://LGrossman.com/
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