dglobalnews.com Israel to shut down Al-Jazeera's Jerusalem office
Published: Fri, July 28, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

Israel to shut down Al-Jazeera's Jerusalem office

Israel to shut down Al-Jazeera's Jerusalem office

On July 14, an attack by three Arab Israelis on two Druze Israeli policemen at the Temple Mount precipitated a wave of violence that is still ongoing as of this date.

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshippers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in August 2015.

Most Palestinians have refused to enter the compound for the past two weeks, instead praying in the streets around the Old City.

Netanyahu had insisted that the extra security was necessary to ensure safety at the holy site, which is also revered by Jews as the site of two ancient temples and is known as Temple Mount, the holiest place in Judaism.

Droves of Palestinians entered for afternoon prayers.

Guterres' statement was issued Wednesday evening at United Nations headquarters in NY after rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas issued calls for mass protests by Muslims against Israel on Friday over security measures installed at a contested site.

As the call to prayer sounded from al-Aqsa Mosque again, thousands of men, women and children made their way to the compound on Thursday, after Israel removed surveillance equipment and other obstacles from the gates leading to the holy site. Under a complicated control structure reached after Israel captured the eastern sector of Jerusalem from the Jordanian military in the 1967 Middle East war, Israel is in charge of the hilltop's security, but Jordan, through the Islamic trust or Waqf, is the religious custodian.

Tasnim: Palestinians had been protesting outside the al-Aqsa compound since Israeli authorities installed metal detectors, turnstiles, and additional security cameras there following a deadly shooting attack more than a week ago. "The prayers will happen, God willing, inside Al-Aqsa Mosque", Abbas told a press conference.

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Israel's removal of the security measures, including metal detectors and CCTV cameras, marked a significant climbdown by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Muslim leaders said they would decide later Thursday whether worshippers could now return to the shrine for prayers. Days of violent protests followed، with both the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas terror group twice calling for a 'day of rage'.

Meanwhile, Turkey's Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of using excessive force and defiling the site.

"We just want to pray undisturbed", a Palestinian told DW correspondent Tania Krämer in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu is recommending the death penalty for a 19-year-old Palestinian who snuck into a West Bank home and stabbed three Israelis to death.

Many Palestinians felt the security measures installed at the site's entrances encroached on their freedom to worship and were an attempt to change the "status quo" on the site.

Of course, Israel has its own explanation for the series of events and cites security as a major reason for its moves.

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