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Israeli police arrest 5 Palestinians at flashpoint holy site

Israeli police arrests a Palestinian in front of the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem, Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. Israeli police officers have arrested several Palestinians for "causing a disturbance" at a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site. The men took part in a prayer protest Monday outside a section of the Temple Mount that has been closed by Israeli court order for over a decade. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police say they have arrested five Palestinians for allegedly “causing a disturbance” at a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site.

The men took part in a prayer protest Monday outside a section of the hilltop compound that has been closed by Israeli court order for over a decade.

Muslim religious officials convened in the closed area last week, and Israeli police placed a lock on a fence in response. Videos purportedly of Monday’s incident show several men damaging the fence.

The site — known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary — is considered the holiest place in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam. Any change to the status quo, no matter how minor, has the potential to ignite tensions.

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