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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Not again! - Fresh clashes in Jerusalem over al-Aqsa mosque

Another installment in the drama...
East News
Fresh clashes in Jerusalem over al-Aqsa mosque
Feb 10, 2007, 11:27 GMT

Jerusalem - Violent protests by Palestinian youths against contentious Israeli works in the vicinity of eastern Jerusalem's al- Aqsa mosque were again staged on Saturday, witnesses said.

Eyewitness accounts said groups of Palestinian youths hurled stones at Israeli police and set garbage bins alight. Police responded with force, dispersing the protestors.

The latest violence follows clashes in and around the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday.

Muslims are angered by Israeli construction work which they say endangers the al-Aqsa mosque. Up to 30 people were injured in the unrest, which began after Friday prayers.

Israel is building a new walkway leading to the Temple Mount/Harem al-Sharif compound, which it says is necessary to replace a previous one which collapsed three years ago.

Since then, a temporary wooden bridge had been in place, leading from the Western (Wailing) Wall Plaza at the foot of the mount to the Mughrabi Gate accessing the compound, the third-holiest site in Islam, which Muslims believe marks the spot from where the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven.

For Jews, the compound is the holiest site in Judaism, as it contains the archaeological remnants of their biblical temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, and abuts the Western Wall, the only surviving structure pertaining to the temple.

© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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