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6 minors held for lighting Hanukkah candles on Temple Mount

Youths briefly detained by police for allegedly kindling holiday lamps at Jerusalem holy site despite ban

A Muslim worshiper reads a Quran on the Temple Mount compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, November 08, 2016. (Sebi Berens/Flash90)
A Muslim worshiper reads a Quran on the Temple Mount compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, November 08, 2016. (Sebi Berens/Flash90)

Six Israeli minors were briefly detained Sunday night for lighting Hanukkah candles on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The six were stopped by police after they lit candles at the Iron Gate and the Cotton Merchants’ Gate, two of the gates leading to the Temple Mount compound, according to the Hebrew-language news website Arutz Sheva.

They were taken to a nearby police post, searched and released soon afterward.

Jewish prayer and ritual at the Temple Mount — considered the holiest site in Judaism — is strictly forbidden as part of a decades-old status quo agreement between Israel and the Muslim Waqf, which administers the site. The compound is known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, meaning Noble Sanctuary in Arabic, and is considered the third holiest site in Islam due to the presence of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Previous displays of Jewish religiosity at the site have led to flareups of Palestinian violence, causing the Israeli authorities to adopt a no-tolerance policy for Jewish prayer at the mount.

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