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Arab League condemns Israeli practices in al-Aqsa mosque
20 July 2017, 12:53 | Floyd Cook
A group of Jewish worshippers at the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem Nov. 7 2016
Safeguards now, of utilizing metal detectors, are direly needed to prevent future terror, and to protect worshippers of all faiths.
Supporters of the Fatah Party, led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, are furious at the security measures, which they view as Israel imposing its sovereignty on a shared holy site.
Since Sunday, there have been sporadic clashes between small groups of Palestinian stone-throwers and Israeli security forces in and near the Old City.
Omar Kiswani, director of al-Aqsa Mosque, told reporters outside the site that "the closure, the occupation, and the prevention of the call for prayers are all unfair and unjust and constitute a violation of the United Nations resolutions and the global agreements".
"Two Israeli police officers were just murdered on the Temple Mount by terrorists who smuggled in guns", government spokesman David Keyes said Tuesday.
Al Aqsa officials have refused to enter and have called on worshippers to do the same.
Although the mosque reopened on Sunday, Netanyahu ordered the installation of metal detectors at two of the mosque's entrances.
In recent months, far-right Israeli lawmakers renewed their calls to change the long-held status quo and to lift the restrictions on Jewish prays, escalating the tensions in and around the compound. Israel's Shin Bet security service, which closely monitors Palestinian society, reportedly opposes the metal detectors as counterproductive, while police support the new measures.
The mufti reportedly replied: "Get your army out of the mosque and then we will pray".
Netanyahu rejected Muslim allegations that Israel is changing long-standing arrangements at the shrine.
But this week, the Waqf was boycotting the Temple Mount over Israel's decision to reinstall metal detectors at its entrances. Areas [are] quiet and security measures continue. One tried to stab a police officer, he said. "They are calculating to spark some level of violence because that's when Israel works best", Diana Buttu, a former advisor to Abbas said. He also telephoned the secretary-general of the Arab League and of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to discuss the situation in Jerusalem. Palestinian media reported that dozens were injured, along with two Israeli security personnel. It was only the third time it closed the site since capturing it, along with east Jerusalem and other territories, in the 1967 Mideast war.
Less expected, however, is the release's stark admission that prior to Friday's closure, Muslims had been able to practice their faith "in complete freedom for... half a century". Police closed the site briefly, reopening it 15 minutes later.
The compound site is holy to both Muslims, who revered it as the Noble Sanctuary, and Jews, who know it as the Temple Mount.
Jews can not pray at Temple Mount, and instead pray at the adjoining Western Wall.
Muslims believe the hilltop compound marks the spot from which Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.
Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third-holiest site in Islam after the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
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