Palestinians protest against Israeli security measures outside Temple Mount

Palestinians protest against Israeli security measures outside Temple Mount

The Arab League Council Monday held Israel responsible for closing al-Aqsa Mosque and preventing Muslim worshippers from holding their prayers at the holy site.

Two Israeli police officers were killed and another injured after three men opened fire on security officers working at the site.

In addition, the more insidious allegation that Israel seeks to obliterate all vestiges of Muslim existence in and around the Temple Mount - known to the Islamic world as Haram Al-Sharif - through a process the Arab nations are calling the "Judaization" of Jerusalem, is being aggressively hammered away to anyone who will listen.

Jews can not pray at Temple Mount, and instead pray at the adjoining Western Wall.

Israeli authorities closed down the Al-Aqsa compound following the attack and cancelled the weekly Friday prayers for the first time in almost five decades. But despite concerns that the new measures could slow movement and spark renewed tensions, police said they appeared to be working fine and that 200 people had already passed through.

Mahmoud Abbas, who was quick to condemn the shooting attacks in a telephone call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is now in Beijing on a three-day visit to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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.

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Jerusalem Grand Mufti Mohammed Hussein criticised the new measures which included metal detectors and turnstiles at the entrance to the site as altering the status quo.

"We call for an end to all the Zionist measures and for the extremist government to take its hands off the blessed Al Aqsa mosque", it said.

Israeli authorities said the gunmen had come from the flashpoint holy site to carry out the attack.

Israeli security forces fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd, injuring three people, according to Palestinian sources.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş criticized the decision to close the Al-Aqsa mosque to worship, saying that it is a crime against humanity.

Israel blames the violence on incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders compounded on social media sites that glorify violence.

Meanwhile, the ruling Fatah party in the West Bank has called for mass civil disobedience later in the week in response to the measures.

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