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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 April, 2005, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
Police prevent Jerusalem protest
Israeli police arrest an Orthodox Jew in Jerusalem
There was a heavy police presence throughout Jerusalem's old city
Massive security in Jerusalem appears to have thwarted plans for a Jewish protesters rally at Temple Mount, which is sacred to both Jews and Muslims.

Thousands of police were sent to the site that Muslims call Haram al-Sharif, which contains the al-Aqsa mosque.

In the event, only a few dozen Jewish ultranationalists tried to get to the area, police said.

Militants in Gaza again fired mortars, the day after three Palestinian youths were killed by Israeli soldiers.

Elsewhere on Sunday, a group of Israeli right-wingers blocked a major highway near Tel Aviv during the rush hour.

Protesters opposed to plans to remove Jewish settlements from Gaza set tyres alight and sat down on the road.

A police officer tries to put out burning tyres near Tel Aviv
Protesters used burning tyres to briefly close a Tel Aviv highway

Several were arrested and police said they were able to end the blockade within minutes.

At least three members of the Jewish right-wing Revava group were also arrested in Jerusalem but only a few dozen people tried to get through police lines at the Temple Mount site.

A visit by then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon to the compound in September 2000 was one of the catalysts of the Palestinian intifada or uprising.

The Revava rally was planned to coincide with the departure of Mr Sharon - now Israeli prime minister - for Texas, where he will hold talks with US President George W Bush.

Revava and other nationalist Jewish groups oppose Mr Sharon's plan to withdraw settlers and the troops that protect them from all of Gaza and four areas of the West Bank.

Under the plan, Israel would retain control of Gaza's borders and is also boosting some settlements in the West Bank.


Israeli police set up roadblocks around Jerusalem and deployed about 3,000 police on Sunday.

Holy to Muslims
Site of the Dome of Rock and al-Aqsa mosques, where the Prophet is believed to have first prayed and later ascended into Heaven
Holy to Jews
Site of first and second Temples and believed to be rock on which Abraham offered his son as a sacrifice

"Under no circumstances will we allow provocations," Israeli Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra said.

He added that he believed the protest was aimed at inflaming tensions to prevent the Gaza evacuation.

Israeli police said they would restrict access to the site to Muslims aged over 40.

Supporters of the Hamas militant group held an opposition rally where leader Hassan Yusef called on Muslims to protect the mosques, Israel Radio reported.

Israeli police later arrested Mr Yusef after he was said to have entered the Jerusalem holy site.

'Warning shots'

Witnesses claimed the three youths killed in southern Gaza on Saturday were shot trying to retrieve a football in a no-go area near the Egypt border.

The Israeli army says they were involved in smuggling weapons and ignored warning shots.

Palestinians grieve outside Gaza hospital
The killings are the first violent deaths in Gaza for weeks

It was the most serious such incident since Israeli and Palestinian leaders declared a ceasefire in February.

The Palestinian Authority called the killings a "serious violation" of the truce.

Following the shootings, Palestinian militants from Islamic Jihad fired at least 20 mortars and rockets at Jewish settlements in Gaza.

More home-made rockets were fired on Sunday, but all main Palestinian militant groups say their agreement to an extended period of calm will continue for now.

Reports of the first arrests in the area

Israel and the Palestinians



Palestinian women sit on a roof top of the home of a Palestinian family in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on 20 November 2006. Human shields
Palestinians adopt a new tactic to deter Israeli attacks, but this is a high-risk strategy




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