Not heeding warnings by Muslim officials, Jewish fanatics, protected by police, hold rituals outside Al-Aqsa Mosque

Not heeding warnings by Muslim officials, Jewish fanatics and settlers today held religious rituals outside two main gates leading to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City, protected by Israeli police and provoking Muslims arriving to hold prayers at the third holiest site in Islam, according to local sources.

They said the fanatics and settlers held their rituals outside Bab Hutta and al-Majlis gates as Muslims were arriving for the noon prayers.

The fanatics usually try to hold their rituals inside the walled holy place, but since the Mosque compound is usually closed for Jews on Fridays and Saturdays, they hold them outside the gates, provoking the feelings of the Muslim worshippers.

Muslim officials have warned that any attempt to change the status of Al-Aqsa Mosque in its entire 144-dunum area as a purely Muslim worship site could trigger a religious war, whose consequences no one could predict.

Jewish fanatic groups and settlers seek Israeli government legislation that would allow them to pray inside the walled compound and possibly build a temple on its ground.

Their attempts to change the status quo at the Mosque increase during Jewish holidays, which coincide this month and the next.

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