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Israeli Actions at Al-Aqsa Mosque Raise Palestinian Fears

Palestinians are being increasingly barred from the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, leading many to question Israel's intentions.
The Dome of the Rock, on the compound known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City, is seen in the background as Palestinian onlookers survey a protest calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails February 8, 2013. REUTERS/Ammar Awad (JERUSALEM - Tags: RELIGION POLITICS) - RTR3DI1Z

Declaring a problem to be dangerous always brings to mind the story of the man who repeatedly, but falsely, warned his fellow villagers about a wolf, only to find a lack of response when the wolf does in fact appear. This seems to be the situation unfolding in Jerusalem these days, specifically at the Haram al-Sharif compound, the site of Al-Aqsa mosque — the third-holiest mosque in Islam.

The Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, is a walled area comprising one-sixth of Jerusalem's Old City. The 35-acre compound includes mosques, museums, gardens and religious schools. For 46 years, Israelis and Palestinians have been able to agree on how to manage this extremely sensitive religious area.

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