Worshippers snub Israeli Al-Aqsa reopening

Vincent Carr
July 17, 2017

"The President expressed his strong rejection and condemnation of the incident that took place at Al Aqsa mosque, as well as his rejection of any violent incidents from any side, especially in places of worship", Palestinian news agency Wafa said.

The ultra-sensitive compound was closed on Friday after three Palestinian citizens of Israel shot two Israeli officers dead in the Old City before fleeing to the al-Aqsa compound where they were killed by Israeli police. The three were shot and killed. But with all signs pointing to an increase in violence, Netanyahu is moving ahead with the metal detectors and plans to install cameras on the pillars outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Netanyahu said Saturday night before he left on a plane to Paris that he spoke with the parents of the two Druze-Israeli police officers killed in the Friday attack on the Temple Mount. Al-Quds Mufti, Sheikh Ahmad Hussein was arrested because he decried the mosque's closure.

Abdullah condemned the attack, but also called on Netanyahu to reopen the Al-Aqsa compound and stressed the need to "avoid any escalation at the site". No group claimed responsibility, though the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, praised the attack. The suspect opened fire with an automatic weapon, prompting the troops to return fire, killing him.

Israeli security forces stand guard in Jerusalem's Old City after Friday's shooting attack.

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It was the first time in 50 years that Israel closed the compound, which is Islam's third holiest site.

The PA president rarely condemns attacks on Israelis.

The Jerusalem shrine has been the scene of repeated confrontations, including during the current wave of violence.

Bassam Al Halaq, a senior official of Awqaf, an Islamic authority in charge of Al-Aqsa, told Al-Jazeera that the Israeli police were searching the entire compound, breaking through doors. It is managed by Jordanian religious authorities and is adjacent to the Western Wall, a holy site where Jews are permitted to pray. In September 2000, then-Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon made a provocative visit to the site, sparking Palestinian protests that quickly escalated into armed clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers.

The spokesperson warned of the impact of this incident on the peace process, as well as reviving efforts and negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis. The violence claimed several thousand victims, a lot of them Palestinians, and only began to ebb in 2005.

Other reports by BadHub

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