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Israel-Palestinian tension ahead of rally by right-wing Jews

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Israel-Palestinian tension ahead of rally by right-wing Jews


Israeli police have tightened security around the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem. They say they will bar Jewish activists from carrying out plans to enter the site and hold a rally there later on Sunday. Palestinian militants have threatened to abandon a three-month old truce with Israel if Jewish activists – notably from the far-right group Revava – do go to the shrine.

There were widespread Palestinian protests on Saturday. A Fatah rally in Rafah drew 8,000 Palestinians, among them Deputy Prime Minister Nabil Shaath.

At Gaza University, thousands pledged to disrupt the Jewish rally at the al-Aqsa compound. Tension has declined drastically since Mohammed Abbas succeeded Yasser Arafat as Palestinian president but a provocation at the shrine could end that. In an apparently unrelated incident, Israeli troops fired at a group of Palestinian youths playing football in the Rafah refugee camp.

Three youths were killed. Militants said they reserved the right to respond to the incident. Palestinian hospital officials said two of the youths were 15, and the third was 14.

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