Jewish visit to holy site draws Muslim anger

About 25 Jews under a heavy police escort visited the compound in walled Old City containing Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock.

Updated: Sep 18, 2011, 23:56 PM IST

Jerusalem: A group of Jews touring a Jerusalem site holy to Judaism and Islam on Sunday were confronted by angry Muslim cries of “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) but police said that no physical violence broke out.

About 25 Jews under a heavy police escort visited the compound in the walled Old City containing the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina.

Known in Hebrew as Temple Mount, it is the holiest site in Judaism because it was the location of the Second Temple, razed by the Romans in 70 AD.

The men on the tour were participants of a day-long conference held by the Temple Mount Heritage, a group that studies ancient temple rituals and that visits the site, a frequent flashpoint of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

The second Palestinian uprising, or intifada, erupted there after former Israeli premier Ariel Sharon made a controversial visit in September 2000.

Israel captured the Old City of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it along with the rest of mostly Arab east Jerusalem in a move not recognised by the international community.

Bureau Report