"Jerusalem (ANTARA News) - Jewish extremists demonstrated Thursday at the entrance to Islam's third-holiest site, the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, demanding entrance to the site where Jews believe the Temple stood before its destruction in 70 AD.
Waving blue-and-white flags and dressed in brown rugs to mark the Tisha
B'av fasting day commemorating the Temple's destruction, the group of some 30 people was stopped by a heavily armed police force, AFP reported.
Hundreds of Israeli police deployed across the Old City ahead of Thursday's protest, which in the past has sparked violent clashes with Palestinians.
Despite a high court order allowing the Temple Mount Faithful group to
enter the Al-Aqsa compound, police closed the site for visits, and worshippers under the age of 45 where not allowed to enter.
"Temple Mount has become a base for Hezbollah, Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and all the enemies of the Jewish poeple," the group's leader, Gershon Salomon shouted into a megaphone.
"It is a crime that Jews aren't allowed to enter Temple Mount, the heart
and soul of the Jewish people!" he said.
Huddled around a cardboard model of the second Temple, the protesters urged police to let them in, but after a round of prayers they stepped back and left the site.
Jerusalem police district commander Ilan Franco said afterwards that
"following the Jewish calls to enter the compound and Muslim call to reach the compound and protect it the police prepared with reinforcement.
"We can now say that the day passed quietly with no incidents." (*)
COPYRIGHT © 2006 ANTARA
August 4, 2006"
Article: Antara News