Palestinian worshippers hurt in clash with Israeli police in Jerusalem

An Israeli police officer cries as paramedics try to resuscitate one of two cops shot in a terror attack on the Temple Mount Friday July 14 2017. The two officers dies of their wounds

The heads of Palestinian militant factions in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday slammed Israel over measures taken in the wake of a deadly terror attack at Jerusalem's flashpoint Temple Mount holy site saying that its "aggression" on the compound's Al-Aqsa mosque would be "the spark that ignites the entire region".

For the first time in decades, Israel closed the site — sacred to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount — on Friday, after three Arab Muslim Israeli citizens opened fire from the holy compound with automatic weapons, killing two police officers before they were shot and killed.

The official Palestinian Authority Wafa news agency is reporting on the hundreds of Muslims who are holding prayers outside the gates to the Temple Mount.

The site houses the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock shrine, Islam's third holiest site after Mecca and Medina, but also the ruins of the Biblical Jewish Temple.

The council held the Israeli occupation authorities fully responsible for the violations and practices committed against al-Aqsa mosque and its holdings and historical documents, rejecting any change in the status quo in occupied Jerusalem and al-Aqsa mosque. Under the status quo agreement, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged late on Saturday to continue to uphold, Jews are allowed to enter the compound under close supervision, but only Muslims are permitted to worship there.

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".

Meanwhile, two rights groups protested against the closure of the Old City and its vicinity in Jerusalem al-Quds and the ban on Palestinians from entering it.

Jerusalem police commissioner Yoram Halevy said the metal detectors were necessary for the site to reopen. It is adjacent to the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews are permitted to pray. Israeli officials said they were a permanent measure but many worshippers refused to go through them and preferred to pray outside the compound. Several Palestinians ignored the call, while at the second entrance more people headed into the compound, Reuters photographers said.

The Palestinians feared that Israel would retake control of the site by stealth.

Tensions have continued to simmer in the city after a wave of stabbing, shooting and vehicle-ramming attacks by Palestinians in Jerusalem, other Israeli cities and the West Bank in October 2015.


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