RAMALLAH, March 13 (JMCC) - Palestinians warned this week of tensions in Jerusalem
as a new synagogue is dedicated near the Old City's sensitive holy sites.
The Hurva Synagogue will be dedicated on Monday, and celebrations and visits to the al-Aqsa mosque, what Jews honor as the former site of a Jewish temple, will be held Tuesday and Wednesday.
The new synagogue is located several dozen meters from the al-Aqsa mosque compound. In Jewish tradition, its rebuilding marks the start of the reconstruction of new Jewish temple.
Jewish groups are planning to enter the major Muslim shrine to lay a cornerstone for the Temple, warned the al-Aqsa Organization for Waqf and Antiquities.
Israeli police have set up checkpoints ringing the Old City area and restricting Palestinian visitors to the area. Only some 2,000 Palestinians were able to attend Friday prayers at the holy shrine, said the JMCC's Jerusalem correspondent.
Jerusalem has been the site of clashes due to an Israeli settlement
push in the city. Israeli officials announced a new settlement project of 1,600 homes in occupied land
last Wednesday, setting of a round of condemnations from the international community.