In China Abbas ignores Israeli escalation in Jerusalem

21 July, 2017, 00:56 | Author: Sherri Guerrero
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The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) on Thursday released a statement urging Israel to reopen the mosque to avoid tensions as Palestinian Muslims are planning to conduct Friday prayers in the compound.

Protests began on Sunday after the mosque's leadership called on worshipers to boycott new metal detectors installed at the mosque's entrances.

A Palestinian carried out a car-ramming attack near the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, lightly wounding two Israeli soldiers before being shot dead, officials said.

The latest round of violence started last Friday when Palestinian Israelis attacked Israeli security guards who were standing outside Harim Asharif, the sacred compound that Jews revere as Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

There are divisions among the Israelis, with the police and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan in favor of leaving the metal detectors in place, while the Shin Bet and the IDF favor removing them, fearing widespread unrest if they remain.

Israel insists it has no intention of changing the status quo, and says metal detectors are widely used to secure holy sites around the world.

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Jerusalem Grand Mufti Mohammed Ahmed Hussein has criticized the new measures as altering the status quo, which gives Muslims religious control over the site and permits Jews to visit but not pray there.

These new security measures have led to a wave of anger among Palestinians, who called for the immediate removal of the metal detectors.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas has called for mass protests on Friday against Israeli metal detectors placed at a contested Jerusalem holy site. Police said they had been attacked by protesters armed with stones and Molotov cocktails. The police pursued and killed the assailants.

After the the compound was closed for the first time in decades, Arab world condemned the move, mainly ignoring the terrorist attack which preceded the closure, and prompting Israel to compromise by opening the site with beefed up security measures.

Erdan commented on the report that the Shin Bet was opposed to the idea of placing metal detectors at the holy site. The authority was not included in the Israeli decision to impose the security changes. No further information was immediately available on the attacker's identity.

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