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Clashes break out in Jerusalem as religious holy days occur together

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Clashes break out in Jerusalem as religious holy days occur together
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For the first time since 1991, holy days of three different religions are converging in Jerusalem - a place where tensions between communities have been causing pain and violence for years. Jews, Christians, and Muslims consider Jerusalem to be their sacred ground. Passover, Easter, and Ramadan occurring together have led to a few clashes in the historic city.

Mustafa Abu Sway, a professor of Islamic thoughts, told New York Times columnist Patrick Kingsley said that Jerusalem is like a salad bowl. "You have intact tomatoes and intact cucumbers and intact lettuce leaves. You don't have a salad."

On Friday, clashes broke out at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem while Muslims were fasting for the 14th day of Ramadan. In the same neighbourhood, Jews were carrying out a traditional ceremony of burning bread before Passover.

Christians were in the Old City participating in a procession in the memory of Jesus Christ's crucifixion. Being the community with the least number of people, they began the procession early to avoid the Muslims heading to the mosque.

Similar tensions escalated on Sunday when Israeli police stopped Muslims from entering the same mosque for several hours. Jews were entering for prayer at the same time, reported New York Times.

Jerusalem has been at the centre of dynasties due to its strategic position away from waterbodies and high in the mountains. It is the ancient capital of Jewish kingdoms and the site of ancient temples. Muslims worship the same site where Prophet Muhammad rose to heaven. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third-most sacred site for Muslims. It is also the city where Christianity was born and Jesus Christ was crucified.

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