Fresh Israeli clampdown near Al-Aqsa

Fresh Israeli clampdown near Al-Aqsa

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me02_bigAL-Quds,September,28,2015;-Israeli security forces imposed a fresh clampdown at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday, the last day of the Eid Al-Adha holiday. Police and border forces deployed “riot dispersal means.”
Calm returned to the compound later in the morning and most police had withdrawn but Israeli Arab activists remained inside.
Muslims have been alarmed by an increase in visits by Jews and fear rules governing the compound will be changed.
Jews are allowed to visit but not to pray to avoid provoking tensions. Visits by Jews were stopped on Sunday and age restrictions on Muslim men entering the compound lifted.
But recent weeks have seen a series of Jewish holidays during which there has an been an uptick in visits by Jews that have sparked repeated clashes.
The radical northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel and the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee (HAMC), which represents Arab communities in Israel, had urged Muslims to go to the compound to defend it.
Islamic Movement official Sheikh Qairi Eskender said: “We’re afraid they want to divide the Aqsa compound, because the Jewish extremists want to take control of Al-Aqsa. 
“Our goal today is to prevent Al-Aqsa from being tarnished by their visits,” Eskender told AFP. “In the coming days, we’ll have people staying here.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said repeatedly that there will be no change to the rules governing the compound despite the views of some hardliners within his governing coalition. — AFP