Egypt's Foreign Ministry concerned as tension rises in Jerusalem

Israeli security forces gather at the scene of the car-ramming attack near Kiryat Arba Tuesday

Fatah leaders said that Friday prayers, when many Palestinians travel to the Jerusalem holy site, would instead be conducted in public squares in protest and sermons dedicated to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the venerated Muslim house of worship that sits within the site's compound.

The compound site is holy to both Muslims, who revered it as the Noble Sanctuary, and Jews, who know it as the Temple Mount.

Not much of this seems to make sense - until you look at it from the perspective of what is really motivating the Waqf, palestinians, and so many other Muslims. The Temple Mount had not been closed by the Israelis since 1969.

"We will continue praying around the al-Aqsa until they remove the electronic metal detectors", he said.

Jews are allowed to visit but not pray there to avoid provoking tensions.

During the same two year period, Israeli forces have killed more than 254 Palestinians, majority said by Israel to be attackers while others were killed in clashes with Israeli forces.

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.

According to police, after evening prayers at a gate outside the Temple Mount, a group of Muslim worshipers "started throwing rocks and bottles at the officers" who were stationed in the Old City.

The Temple Mount is holy to Jews as the site of their ancient temple, and to Muslims as the site of where the Prophet Muhammad is believed to have risen.

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The Islamic Jihad and Hamas movements issued a statement on Monday calling on Palestinians to hold mass demonstrations in Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and also the diaspora communities around the world.

It was to be reopened gradually, police said, without providing details.

On Friday, Benjamin Netanyahu stressed that he did not want to alter the status quo, but Palestinians fear Israel is trying to retake control of the site by stealth.

The site has proved a tinder-box in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the past. Police said they had been attacked by protesters armed with stones and Molotov cocktails.

"Preserving security and stability in holy places is a Jordanian objective, but this can not be achieved by changing the historic status quo but through respecting it", said Safadi. Worshippers were asked to pray in the streets rather than submit to the new security procedures.

"Our Druze brothers", he said in a statement, paid "the heaviest price in our common endeavor to protect the security of the State".

Netanyahu said Israel is in close contact with Jordan, the traditional Muslim custodian of the shrine.

The mufti reportedly replied: "Get your army out of the mosque and then we will pray".

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