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Friday, February 21, 2014

Extremist Israeli official desecrates Dome of the Rock Wednesday, 19 February 2014 14:12

Dome of the Rock, within the Al-Aqsa compound [file photo]Israeli Knesset Member Moshe Feiglin desecrated Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound on Wednesday, climbing on top of the Dome of the Rock and uttering discriminatory remarks against Muslims and Arabs, witnesses have reported.

For much of the past year, Feiglin had been banned from entering the Mosque due to his history of provocations there. After his visit on Wednesday, Israel National News said that he claimed to have toured "all corners" of the Mosque as well as prayed, violating both a rabbinic ban and Israeli law.

The head of the Islamic Awqaf in Jerusalem, Sheikh Azzam Al-Tamimi, was among the witnesses to the event and reported that Feiglin, who is a senior Likud leader and known as an extremist Zionist, wandered the sanctuary yards of Al-Aqsa Mosque for about half an hour.

While on top of the Dome of the Rock, Feiglin reportedly declared that: "Al-Aqsa belongs to the Jews and the Arabs have to depart to Saudi Arabia, as that is their original place, while the [Dome of the Rock] is the Jewish Temple. It does not belong to Muslims."

Sheikh Al-Tamimi denounced Feiglin's desecration of the holy Mosque, which came after his failure to hold a special Knesset session on Tuesday to discuss lifting Jordanian guardianship over Al-Aqsa Mosque and replacing it with Israeli control.

Israeli media reported that the special Knesset meeting was scrapped at the last minute due to local, Jordanian and international pressure.

Meanwhile, groups of Israeli settlers also continued sweeping Al-Aqsa Mosque and its sanctuary yards on Wednesday. Entering through Al-Magharbeh Gate, they toured inside the Mosque accompanied by rabbis and protected by special Israeli police.

Palestinian worshipers who wish to enter the Mosque are being thoroughly inspected by Israeli police stationed at the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and their IDs are held until they leave.

On Tuesday, the Israeli police arrested two Palestinian students at the Sharia Schools inside the Mosque. They were identified as Ziyad abu-Hedwan and Mohamed Do'ees.

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