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Islam is a major religion in both Israel and the Palestinian territories. Muslims, mostly Arab citizens of Israel, constitute 16% of the Israeli population, making them the second largest religious group in Israel after Israeli Jews.
Islam is the religion of the majority of the Palestinian population residing in the Palestinian territories, with Muslims comprising 75% of the population of the West Bank, and 99% of the population of the Gaza Strip, ahead of believers of Judaism and Christianity. Jerusalem is Islam's third holiest city after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. The Haram al Sharif (Temple Mount) of Jerusalem is believed by Muslims to be the location from which Muhammad ascended to Jannah (paradise); there is no mention of Jerusalem in the Koran, however.
This widely accepted Islamic belief raises the religious and spiritual importance to them of the Dome of the Rock and the adjacent al-Aqsa Mosque. Muslims are sensitive to and mindful of the circumstance that two mosques along with the rest of East Jerusalem are claimed and administered by the state of Israel, albeit without Israeli flags presently being displayed within the limits of the Haram area (which is managed day to day by the Islamic Waqf, an administrative body taking responsibility for the conduct of Islamic affairs in the region of the Temple Mount). In modern times there have been several instances of Israeli Jews raising flags on the Mount in defiance of the police practice of obstructing persons from doing so.