Al-Aqsa Mosque

(Arabic for "the Farthest Mosque") A mosque located in the Old City of Jerusalem, adjacent to the Dome of the Rock on the area known to Muslims as Haram Al-Sharif (Arabic for “the Noble Sanctuary”). Al-Aqsa Mosque, a name which is used both to refer to all of Haram Al-Sharif, or the actual mosque itself, is the third holiest site in Islam. The mosque was completed in the 7th century, destroyed by an earthquake in the 8th century, and restored to its current structure in the 11th century. The mosque is currently under the supervision and authority of the Waqf (Islamic Endowment). Haram Al-Sharif is known by Jews as the Har Ha-Moriah (Hebrew for the Temple Mount and is the holiest place in Judaism. Due to its religious and symbolic significance, Al-Aqsa Mosque and Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount have frequently been at the epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some examples include the Al-Aqsa Massacre and the provocative visit to Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount on September 28, 2000 by then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon igniting the Second Intifada, which is sometimes called the Al-Aqsa Intifada. See the Haram Al-Sharif website and Al-Aqsa Intifada Timeline, BBC.

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