Regjeringen advarer muslimene i Nasaret

JERUSALEM ( - The Israeli government on Wednesday warned Muslims in Nazareth to remove a prayer tent from beside the Basilica of the Annunciation or risk losing permission to build a mosque nearby.

Christians and Muslims have argued in the past year over a controversial site next to the basilica where Christians wanted to build a plaza to accommodate Jubilee Year pilgrims and Muslims wanted to construct a mosque. Israel stepped in during November and gave permission for the mosque, angering Christians throughout the Holy Land. Within the past week, Muslims put up a prayer tent, a kind of temporary mosque, next to the basilica, raising tensions again.

"The Public Security Ministry warned the Muslims in Nazareth on Tuesday to remove the tent and they have until the end of the week," police spokesman Linda Menuhin said. "If they don't, the ministerial committee will reconvene and reconsider its decision to allow them to build the mosque."

Salman Abu Ahmad, a leading Islamic Movement figure, said he had not received any request to remove the prayer tent. "The tent was set up a few days ago when it rained, and it is removed when it stops raining. We were given permission to set up a tent for prayers when it rains, and it has rained," Abu Ahmad said.

Catholic World News Service Daily News Briefs