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8 settlers evacuated from Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Tuesday morning.

PNN/Jerusalem

Eight right-wing settlers were evacuated by Israeli police from the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for carrying out violations of regulations Tuesday morning amid increased tensions inside and around the site during the Jewish Passover holiday, Palestinian media reports.

Luba al-Samri, Israeli police spokeswoman, said the eight settlers "violated the rules and regulations" stipulated for non-Muslim visitors while storming into the site under the IOF protection.

The so called 'tour' was the most recent to take place in the compound.

According to eyewitnesses, around 130 settlers invaded the site protected by the Israeli police.

When they started performing their prayers, local guards tried to stop them. However they were assaulted by the Israeli police.

On Monday, the Jordanian government, who holds joint control over the site with the Palestinians, warned Israel of "dangerous consequences" for allowing continued provocations by settlers at the holy site.

According to the Israeli media, Israel is concerned that settler visits to the Compound during the week-long Jewish holiday could "trigger renewed Palestinian unrest", which has appeared to subside in recent weeks after six months of tensions.

In total, 3,500 Israeli police officers will be patrolling Jerusalem throughout the week, Israeli police said, after tensions surged last week following a bus bombing -- the first in Jerusalem in over a decade.

"The [Israeli] police is working and will continue to work with determination against any attempt to disturb the public peace and security, without favoritism," an Israeli police statement read.

During Passover, one of three Jewish pilgrimage holidays, tens of thousands of Jews flock to the Old City of Jerusalem, including many who storm into the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, where Jews and Christians are forbidden to pray.

On Sunday early morning, Israeli police spokeswoman, Luba Samri, said in a statement that the Israeli police intendto allow Jewish/settler visits to the site to continue as 'normal' during the holiday, though they won't allow disturbances.

"We will not allow disturbances of public order or security, and we will act decisively against anyone who tries to do so," she said.

On Friday, Israeli police detained 10 Jewish men suspected of planning to sacrifice goats on the Compound in honor of the Passover holiday.

The third holiest site in Islam, the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, it is also venerated as Judaism's most holy place, as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood.

In ancient times, Jews used to sacrifice a lamb on Passover Eve and eat it as part of the traditional Seder meal.

Last year, more than 50,000 Jewish worshipers attended the Birkat Kohanim (priestly blessing) ceremony at the Western Wall, which will be held on Monday this year.

At least 70 Palestinians were banned from Al-Aqsa mosque in April alone.

Israel has also closed off all crossing points for Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

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Publication:Palestine News Network (West Bank, Palestine)
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Apr 26, 2016
Words:491
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