Mosques To Close Friday, Waqf Calls for Prayers Outside Al-Aqsa

Posted July 21, 2017

Hundreds of Palestinians have held evening prayers outside the Al Aqsa mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, refusing to pass through newly-installed Israeli security measures.

Palestinians run away from stun grenades thrown by Israeli border police officers during a protest against the metal detectors placed at the entrance to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on July 19, 2017.

Two Israeli police officers were killed and another one was injured by Arab Israelis of Palestinian origin who opened fire on security forces in Jerusalem's Old City.

According to WAFA, Abbas has made several contacts with world powers to discuss the ongoing Jerusalem tension.

Israel has defended the controversial move, claiming they are no different from security measures at other holy sites around the world. Tel Aviv argues that the security upgrades will prevent weapons from being brought to the Temple Mount as referred to by Jews.

Earlier in the day, Israeli forces attacked Palestinians staging a sit-in outside the compound's main entrance for the third consecutive day after Tel Aviv implemented the new measures that ban worshipers from performing their prayers freely in the mosque. Police said they had been attacked by protesters armed with stones and Molotov cocktails.

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"This bring the number of people killed in our village by Israeli soldiers this year to three", Amori told MEE.

"We should look at the facts and the truth - the installation of metal detectors does not constitute any change in the status quo", he said. The bishops said they mourned for those killed and deplored "the heightened tensions that such an attack can span".

Immediately following last Friday's attack, the Temple Mount was closed off for visitors of all faiths. On Sunday the police made a decision to open the Mount compound once again, but insisted that the Muslim worshipers pass through metal detectors stationed at the entrances.

The fate of the compound, holy to both Jews and Muslims, is an emotional issue and forms the centerpiece of rival Israeli and Palestinian national narratives. Areas [are] quiet and security measures continue.

The Palestinians fear Israel is trying to retake control of the site by stealth but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed on Friday that he had no intention of altering the status quo.