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Tension Flares Near Temple Mount

Tension flared near the Temple Mount in the Old City Thursday when a routine visit by Jerusalem police chief Rahamim Comfort was taken by Moslem worshippers as a move to establish an official Jewish presence close to the Islamic shrines.

A group of worshippers, led by a member of the Moslem Supreme Council, protested vehemently against an alleged attempt to break into the Temple Mount, site of the El Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock (Mosque of Omar). The latest controversy began several weeks ago when students at the Aderet Cohanim yeshiva were assigned a room near the so-called “Hakotel Hakatan” (The Small Wall) outside the Temple Mount to store furniture.

The Moslem religious authorities found a hole in the wall which they assumed was made by the students. They placed a locked gate at the entrance to The Small Wall. Police reportedly confiscated the key and kept the gate open to the public.

The Moslems erected a new gate on Thursday. But after tense negotiations with the police, the gate was allowed to remain open.

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