Israeli police block march by Jewish extremists to Al-Aqsa

AFP , Thursday 6 Nov 2014

Around 150 Jewish extremists marched Thursday in Jerusalem to protest over deteriorating security and pray near the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, but were prevented by the Israeli police from reaching the flashpoint shrine.

The mainly young zealots had gathered near the Old City for what they called a march "to the gates of the Temple Mount", Israel's name for the compound.

The compound is Islam's third holiest site and is also revered by Jews because it once housed both the First and Second Temple.

Jews are allowed to enter the compound itself, but are forbidden from praying there.

Concerns that Israel was set to legislate changes that would allow Jews to pray there have sparked weeks of unrest at the site.

"We are proudly marching with high heads to the direction of the Temple Mount. God willing, we'll get there," organiser Ariel Groner told AFP at the site where a Palestinian recently tried to assassinate Yehuda Glick, a hardline campaigner for Jewish prayer rights at the compound.

But police prevented the marchers from going anywhere near the compound or even approaching the Western Wall -- the last remaining vestige of the retaining wall of the Second Temple, an AFP correspondent said.

Police had agreed with organisers the event would end before the entrance to the Western Wall plaza, where the participants held prayers for Glick's speedy recovery.

The march finally wound its way across the Jewish quarter of the Old City where there was little possibility of confrontation with Palestinians.

*The story was edited by Ahram Online.

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