dglobalnews.com Three Palestinians killed in clashes over access to Al Aqsa compound
Published: Sat, July 22, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

Three Palestinians killed in clashes over access to Al Aqsa compound

On Thursday, Israeli occupation police said they were barring men under 50 from entering Jerusalem's Old City for Friday Muslim prayers as tensions rose over new Israeli security measures at mosque.

Around 3,000 police were deployed near the Old City, turning away Muslim men under the age of 50, while some worshippers intercepted before reaching Jerusalem as they journeyed toward the holy city.

Six police officers and an unknown number of rioters were injured Friday outside the Old City of Jerusalem, a spokesman for the Israel Police reportedly told the Palestinian Maan news agency.

Israel has set up the metal detectors and cameras at the entrances to the site and took other tightened measures following a fatal attack that left the assailants, three Palestinian citizens of Israel, and two Israeli police officers killed on July 14.

On Sunday metal detectors were placed at the site by Israeli forces as a security precaution, prompting violent daily Palestinian-Israeli confrontations over what was perceived as an intrusion on a sacred site.

Thousands of Palestinians hold a mass prayer outside Jerusalem's Old City in the Wadi Joz neighborhood to protest the closure of the Al-Aqsa compound by Israeli authorities.

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Speculation had been mounting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might order the metal detectors removed before this week's prayers.

The increased security measures were taken after police said the three attackers who emerged armed from the compound and shot at police on Friday had stashed their weapons on the holy site. Police said the metal detectors are needed to prevent further attacks. Visitors to the Western Wall plaza must go through metal detectors to enter the site. Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said developments regarding the al-Aqsa mosque were disrupting and unacceptable. The ambassador said that "the Israeli extremist government makes to make the situation explode, above all to hinder USA attempts to restart dialogue for the two-state solution".

According to a report on Al Jazeera, the Palestinian Prisoner's Club has claimed that Jerusalem's Fatah leader, Hatem Abdel Khader, is among ten Palestinian activist who have been detained.

The site is viewed as the third-holiest in Islam, and the holiest in Judaism although Jews are not permitted to pray at the East Jerusalem site because of religious sensitivities.

"This is insane and it violates freedom of worship", said an Arab citizen of Israel, adding that the metal detectors are humiliating to Muslims.

The events come in wake of an attack by a gunman that killed two Israeli policemen outside the compound.

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