Clashes between worshippers, Israeli police outside Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque

Israeli forces attack worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque

Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces continued on Tuesday in the vicinity of the Old City of Jerusalem and surrounding neighbourhoods.

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 global agreements".

The rioting was sparked by new security measures introduced over the weekend by the Israelis after police were attacked at the site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Al Aqsa officials have refused to enter and have called on worshippers to do the same.

Since last week's attack, tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have soared.

Israel closed the holy site on Friday after two Israeli police officers were allegedly attacked by what the Israelis identified as three Israeli Palestinians. Muslim tradition says the Prophet Muhammad made his assent to heaven from here.

Netanyahu spoke to Israeli security chiefs by phone on Wednesday.

Previously, Israel had removed the metal detectors at the behest of the Waqf and its Jordanian overseers. Tension in the city grew in recent days over the deaths of several Palestinians at the hands of the Tel Aviv Police and Army and in several street clashes.




Safadi called for "fully and immediately reopening the holy site to worshippers without hindrances", the agency said.

Jordan and the Waqf have said that after 1967, the Waqf remained in charge of who can enter the compound.

"They are gradually trying to completely control the mosque", he said.

Netanyahu rejected Muslim allegations that Israel is changing long-standing arrangements at the shrine. "It is only meant to prevent a repeat of an attack with weapons".

"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. Police said 200 people had entered some 90 minutes after the reopening.

"In response to the immediate threat, forces fired shots towards the assailant", the Israeli military said. These protests follow a deadly shooting that killed two Israeli policemen at the site.

The closure drew wide condemnation from the Muslim world. And Jews flocked to the Temple Mount unhindered for the first time in many years.

The area is home to the Western Wall - which was part of the walls around the Second Jewish Temple and is one of the holiest places for Jews to pray - and the Dome of the Rock, where Muslims believe the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven.

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