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Israeli settlers perform marriage rituals at Al-Aqsa, violating longstanding agreement

Jan. 3, 2018 2:05 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 4, 2018 11:44 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- In violation of a longstanding agreement between Jordan and Israel, which prevents non-Muslim religious rituals at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem, a group of Israelis reportedly performed a marriage ritual inside the compound on Wednesday.

Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that a group of right-wing ultra-religious Israelis performed a marriage ritual under the protection of Israeli police.

While Jewish visitation is permitted to the compound, non-Muslim worship at Al-Aqsa is prohibited according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government after Israel’s illegal occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

Despite the agreement with Jordan -- which is the custodian of Al-Aqsa -- Israeli authorities regularly allow Jewish visitors to enter the site, often under armed guard. Such visits are typically made by right-wingers attempting to unsettle the status quo at the site, and coincide with restrictions on Palestinian access, including bans on entrance and detentions.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque. The third holiest site in Islam, it is also venerated as Judaism's most holy place, as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood.

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