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In video - Israeli police prevent Muslim worshipers entry to Dome of the Rock

Jan. 14, 2019 4:43 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 16, 2019 12:26 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli police forces surrounded the Dome of the Rock mosque inside the Al-Aqsa compound, on Monday and closed its doors preventing Muslim worshipers from performing prayers inside.

A Ma'an reporter said that Israeli forces were heavily deployed across the compound, preventing hundreds of worshipers from performing prayers.

Worshipers then gathered in one place to perform prayers together outside of the mosque.

Head of the public relations office at the Islamic Endowment Department, Firas al-Dibs, told Ma'an that Israeli police forces also prevented a group of imams and sheikhs from entering.

Al-Dibs added that the Israeli special forces assaulted Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli police forces held ID cards of worshipers.

Al-Aqsa guards had refused to allow an Israeli policeman to enter the Dome of the Rock wearing a kippah on his head fearing he was going to perform religious rituals inside.

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.

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