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Israel Steps Up Security at Jerusalem Holy Site


Israel has stepped up security around Jerusalem's holiest site to prevent clashes between Muslim worshippers and Jewish extremists opposed to Israel's impending withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

Hundreds of police have been mobilized around what Jews call the Temple Mount, and Muslims know as the Noble Sanctuary.

Thousands of Jews are expected to attend prayer services at the compound through Sunday to commemorate the destruction of the biblical Jewish temples 2000 years ago. Muslim clerics have urged their followers to protect mosques on the holy site.

Meanwhile, Hamas leaders in Gaza held a rare news conference Saturday, vowing to continue their struggle against Israel.

The Palestinian Authority says security forces are fully prepared ahead of their deployment today to prevent any attempts by militants to disrupt Israel's withdrawal from Gaza beginning this week.