Jerusalem mufti calls for Friday prayer at Al-Aqsa complex

Ausiliatrice Cristiano
Luglio 20, 2017

Israeli border police officers stand guard as Palestinian women gather for prayer outside the Lion's Gate following an appeal from clerics to pray in the streets instead of the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, in Jerusalem's Old City, .

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday that he had chose to reopen the site with increased security measures but promised to "maintain the status-quo".

"An assailant armed with a knife attempted to stab [occupation] soldiers at a checkpoint in Tekoa". No soldiers were reported wounded.

Last week, a Palestinian attempted to ram his auto at occupation soldiers manning the same checkpoint before exiting the vehicle armed with a knife.

Dramatic mobile phone video footage shows the moment one of the men was shot dead after he had tried to escape into the compound. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to calm tensions, saying there will be no changes to the status quo at the site.

The army spokesperson said they would look into the reports of the Palestinian being run over.

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

The issue for now may ostensibly be about the metal detectors but what they represent in a wider sense is the source of the explosive reaction that is currently brewing. "While the families [of the killed officers] are still sitting and mourning, we can't let this just pass", he said.

Though the Temple Mount is Judaism's holiest site, neither Jews nor Christians are permitted to pray there, a privilege reserved for Muslims only.

Israel has defended the controversial move, claiming they are no different from security measures at other holy sites around the world.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin's office says he will speak with his Turkish counterpart to try to defuse rising tensions with the Palestinians over a contested Jerusalem shrine.

Meanwhile in the West Bank, Israeli forces carried out an operation of mass arrests on Thursday morning following four days of angry protests across the occupied territories.

The violence has greatly subsided in recent months, though sporadic attacks have continued.

Mahmoud al-Aloul, vice chairman of the Palestinian nationalist political party Fatah, accused Israel of exploiting the situation to realize its plan of dividing al-Aqsa Mosque.

"In the past decades and especially the past couple of years, the Temple movement - mainstreamed into Israeli society as religious Zionist fundamentalists - have achieved prominence and really taken over the state", Cohen said.

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