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In video - Al-Aqsa reopened after 15 hours of closure

Aug. 18, 2018 11:50 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 24, 2018 12:34 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The Al-Aqsa Mosque was reopened early Saturday after 15 hours of closure by Israeli forces on Friday in occupied East Jerusalem.

A Ma'an reporter said that dozens of Muslim worshipers performed dawn prayers inside and outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque after the Israeli authorities reopened the holy sites' gates.

Israeli forces had closed all roads leading to the Old City of Jerusalem and prevented Muslim worshipers from reaching Al-Aqsa Mosque, after Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian youth who attempted to carry out a stabbing attack in the Old City, late Friday; many of Muslim worshipers who were inside the compound were forcefully removed.

Israeli forces were deployed throughout the Old City after several clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinian youths as they attempted to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque following the closure, to perform prayers.

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.

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 video shows Muslim worshipers praying after the reopning of Al-Aqsa Mosque:

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