Jerusalem Riot Breaks Out At Holy Site

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Israeli police were called to a holy site known to the Jews as Temple Mount and known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary today when a riot broke out. Because the two religious groups both use the site for worship, arguments and fights often break out.

The riot that broke out was one of the more serious incidents to take place at the site and police said that rioters were throwing rocks from the top of the monument. The police used tear gas to control the crowd and stop the riot.

The site remained opened after the riot, but was being watched by the police. Although the religious groups typically use the site at the same time, they usually try to avoid each other. Due to the Passover holiday, more Jews have been visiting the site lately, causing more tension between the groups.

The Muslims believe that the site is where Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. The Jews believe the site is the holiest part of two ancient temples that existed about 2,000 years ago. They also hope a third temple will be built on the site in the future.

The Palestinians currently claim east Jerusalem and the Old City as the capital of their future state, but the site is the topic of peace talks that are planned to end at the end of the month. The U.S. has been trying to resolve issues surrounding the site for over 9 months, but neither side is willing to back down.

Peace talks were scheduled for Wednesday, but had to be canceled because the U.S. mediator was unable to attend. They are scheduled to resume on Thursday.

Do you think the two sides will come to an agreement before their deadline on April 29th?

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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