Tensions Rise in Jerusalem After Israel Installs Metal Detectors at Mosque

Israeli forces on Sunday reopened the compound, which includes the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, two days after they closed it following a deadly shooting in the area.

Tensions have soared since Friday.

The Wakf Islamic trust instructed preachers and imams in Jerusalem not to deliver sermons in the city's mosques on Friday and instead attend prayers adjacent to the Temple Mount, Wakf director Azzam al-Khatib said on Wednesday.

One of the people wounded by the Israeli forces was Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, the imam of the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, said the protests are not just about the implementation of the new security measures by Israel.

Palestinian religious authority considered the move a declaration of sovereignty by Israel over the Muslim holy site.

GREENE: That is the sound of Palestinian protesters in Jerusalem outside a site that is known as the Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims.

It called for the rejection and boycott of "all the Israeli aggression measures, including changing the historical status quo including imposing the metal detectors".

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In a statement, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that Israeli forces removed worshippers at Lions' Gate for allegedly blocking the street while performing prayers.

Conflicts over the holy site, revered by Muslims and Jews, have repeatedly triggered Israeli-Palestinian confrontations.

The activists and Palestinian officials seemingly failed to note that Israel's new security measures were put into place in direct response to the murderous Palestinian terrorist attack at the Mount last Friday in which three assailants somehow smuggled weapons onto the site. Safeguards now, of utilizing metal detectors, are direly needed to prevent future terror, and to protect worshippers of all faiths.

The Waqf, Jordan's Islamic authority that manages religious affairs at the site, was outraged over the metal detectors, according to AP.

According to Ma'an news agency, the mosque is still under Israeli control despite the reopening of some of its doors after the regime installed electronic gates at three entrances to the mosque and closed the others.

And while the Fatah Movement called on Monday for a "day of rage" against increased Israeli security measures, the Hamas Movement said the battle for Al-Aqsa would remain open.

Rami Hamdallah, the prime minister of the Palestinian autonomy government in the West Bank, expressed his "absolute rejection of Israel's security pretexts in changing the status quo". But Palestinians say this isn't about security.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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