Protest Calls Grow as Israel Tightens Grip on Al-Aqsa

Lucy Bush
July 20, 2017

But apparently Israel now has metal detectors that can intercept Muslim prayers to Allah.

Palestinian factions have called for marches all over the West Bank on Wednesday in protest against the Israeli security procedures at al-Aqsa mosque.

(AP Photo/Oded Balilty). Israeli police officers detain a Palestinian man 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, Wednesday, July 19, 2017.

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 worldwide agreements".

Netanyahu spoke by phone with Jordan's King Abdullah II on Saturday night, a statement from Amman said.

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Following the instalment of the metal detectors, Palestinians have refused to worship inside the mosque in protest against the new measures.

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

A wave of unrest that broke out in October 2015 has claimed the lives of at least 283 Palestinians or Arab Israelis, 44 Israelis, two Americans, two Jordanians, an Eritrean, a Sudanese and a Briton, according to an AFP toll.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is within the closed area so Muslims were unable to hold Friday prayers there.

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. The Waqf also urged Muslim to boycott the Temple Mount!

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Netanyahu said he had agreed to increased security measures there.

According to the Israeli army, the Palestinian drove his vehicle through the checkpoint at the entrance of Beit Anun village and ploughed into the soldiers on Tuesday. This drew a new wave of protests and criticism, with Turkish government going as far as describing the measures as "a crime against humanity, a crime committed against the freedom of religion".

Jordan and the Waqf have said that after 1967, the Waqf remained in charge of who can enter the compound. "Usually, the Waqf people are all around us, today we are here alone", the visitor said.

The metal detectors were installed after three gunmen had opened fire near Temple Mount on Friday. "It is only meant to prevent a repeat of an attack with weapons". Palestinians say the Israeli measures are aimed at paving the way for the Judaization of the city. The attackers immediately ran to the Temple Mount compound where they were shot dead by police. Its closure after Friday's attack prompted condemnations from the Arab world.

Muslims believe the hilltop marks the spot from which the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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