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Israeli forces forcibly evict Muslim worshipers from Al-Aqsa

May 19, 2019 1:15 P.M. (Updated: May 19, 2019 1:15 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, after midnight, on Sunday, and evicted dozens of Muslim worshipers out of the compound.

Eyewitnesses told Ma'an that heavily armed Israeli forces and police stormed the compound following the end of Muslim Tarawih prayers and forced out dozens of worshipers who have remained in Al-Aqsa out of the compound.

Sources added that this is the fourth time that Israeli forces police have stormed the compound and forced out worshipers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
It is noteworthy that Ramadan typically sees a slight ease of permit restrictions on Palestinians, particularly women, though the thousands who do get permits are still subjected to long waits and checkpoints and searches by armed Israeli forces.

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.

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