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Goat-sacrificing Jews arrested in Jerusalem

By AFP - Apr 14,2014 - Last updated at Apr 14,2014

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Israeli forces arrested five Jews suspected of trying to sacrifice a goat at Jerusalem’s highly sensitive Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem Monday as the Jewish Passover holiday begins, a spokesperson said.

The five “extreme rightwing Jews” were dragging the goat towards the flashpoint compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, when they were stopped and taken into custody, security spokesperson Luba Samri said in a statement.

The incident took place as the seven-day holiday, in which traditionally a lamb or a kid is sacrificed, was to begin at sunset.

The compound, in the walled Old City, houses the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosques, and is the third holiest shrine in Islam.

It is also venerated by Jews as the site where King Herod’s temple stood before it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, and is where the priests of antiquity would have ritually reenacted the first slaughter.

Clashes frequently break out there between Palestinians and Israeli security forces.

Muslims are intensely sensitive to any perceived threat to the status of the compound and many believe Jews are determined to build a new temple on the wide esplanade.

Jews are not allowed to pray on the Temple Mount.

Jewish fringe groups have vowed to build a third Temple, but Israeli political and religious authorities have repeatedly dismissed the idea.

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