Palestinian Prime Minister Pays Rare Visit to Temple Mount

At the Dome of the Rock, Rami Hamdallah says there won't be 'a Palestinian state without East Jerusalem as its capital.'

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Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah visits the Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City, October 27, 2014.
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah visits the Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City, October 27, 2014.Credit: AP

The Palestinian prime minister has paid a rare visit to a key Jerusalem holy site in a bid to bolster Palestinian claims to the area.

Rami Hamdallah's visit to the Dome of the Rock on Monday came at a time of rising tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

The shrine, located in Jerusalem's Old City, is located on the Temple Mount, a hilltop compound revered by Jews and Muslims. It The Palestinian prime minister has paid a rare visit to a key Jerusalem holy site in a bid to bolster Palestinian claims to the area.

Rami Hamdallah's visit to the Dome of the Rock on Monday came at a time of rising tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

The shrine, located in Jerusalem's Old City, is located on the Temple Mount, a hilltop compound revered by Jews and Muslims. It is a frequent flashpoint of violence.

The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967, as their capital. Palestinian youths have been clashing regularly with Israeli security forces in East Jerusalem for months.

Hamdallah said "there will not be a Palestinian state without East Jerusalem as its capital."Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (4th L) visits the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, October 27, 2014. Photo by AP

Hamdallah was accompanies by Mufti Mohammed Hussein, Palestinian-Authority-appointed governor of Jerusalem Adnan al-Husseini and Palestinian intelligence chief Majid Faraj.

The prime minister said that the Palestinian leadership has asked the United Nations to ensure the safety of Jerusalem's Palestinian residents and protect the city's Muslim holy sites.

"Our visit constitutes a message of support and empowerment for the Palestinians in Jerusalem, and a call for the protection of the holy sites, with an emphasis on the Al-Aqsa Mosque," he said.

The visit was coordinated with Israeli security, and it passed without incident.

Elsewhere in East Jerusalem, rioting renewed Monday morning as Palestinians clashed with police and attacked property.

Youths stoned an Israeli car on Salah al-Din Street. There were no reported injuries. Confrontations also broke out around the Jewish neighborhood of Ma'ale Zeitim on the Mount of Olives.

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