Witnesses: Israeli forces arrest 2 in Al-Aqsa compound

03:00 Jul 29 2012 al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem

Witnesses: Israeli forces arrest 2 in Al-Aqsa compound
Photo: Palestinian men pray in front of the dome of the rock in Jerusalem's Old
City on the first Friday of the holy month of Ramadan July 20, 2012.
by Ammar Awad /Reuters

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces entered the Haram al-Sharif compound overnight Saturday and arrested two worshipers, witnesses said.

Dozens of police officers entered the compound and used physical force to evacuate worshipers, leading to clashes. Two men from Jerusalem were arrested, witnesses told Ma'an.

Hundreds of Muslim worshipers have been attending overnight prayers in the Haram al-Sharif compound, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage said.

"Israeli authorities are trying to prevent this rite," it added.

An Israeli police spokesman told Ma'an he had no reports of the incident.

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

The flashpoint site is under the custody of the Islamic endowment authorities.


by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Israeli soldiers and policemen invaded, on Saturday night after midnight, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied East Jerusalem, and attacked several worshipers while trying to forcefully remove them out of the mosque; clashes were reported and two worshipers were kidnapped.

The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage reported that the two kidnapped worshipers are young men from Jerusalem.

The Foundation added that hundreds of worshipers remained in the Al-Aqsa Mosque for the third night in a row, and that their stay was facilitated by the Islamic Waqf Department while the Israeli military and police are trying to prevent any worshiper from staying overnight at the mosque or its yards.

In related news, hundreds of Israeli settlers, and fundamentalist members of Knesset, participated in a procession that started in West Jerusalem and headed towards the gates of the Old City, especially Bab Al-Amoud (Damascus) Gate, Bab As-Sahera (Herod’s Gate) and Al-Asbat Gate (Gate of the Tribes) and ending at the Al-Magharba Gate, the Foundation said.

Limited clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli policemen took place near Al-Amoud Gate; no injuries were reported.

The Al-Aqsa Foundation reported that, despite extensive Israeli restrictions and military presence, thousands of worshipers managed to reach the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and its surrounding areas, on Friday, and performed prayers marking the second Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
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