Riots In Jerusalem Over Security Checks Prompted By Terrorist Attack

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The heads of Palestinian militant factions in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday slammed Israel over measures taken in the wake of a deadly terror attack at Jerusalem's flashpoint Temple Mount holy site saying that its "aggression" on the compound's Al-Aqsa mosque would be "the spark that ignites the entire region".

Dozens of Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli police as a confrontation over one of Jerusalem's holiest sites drags into its fifth day.

"By refusing to enter through the metal detectors we will show we reject any measure by the occupation authority, which has no right to change the status quo".

Israeli-Palestinian tensions have risen in recent days following an attack near an ultra-sensitive Jerusalem holy site on Friday that killed two Israeli policemen.

Following a deadly shootout last Friday, Israeli forces closed the compound and cancelled Friday prayers in the mosque for the first time since 1969.

The decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top Israeli security officials late Saturday night to reopen the holy site to Muslim worshipers, visitors and tourists allegedly came after receiving a message from the Saudi monarch via the White House.

Israeli police have beefed up security, deploying hundreds of troops and erecting roadblocks at the entrances of Jerusalem's Old City, barring non-residents from entering.


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.

Jerusalem police commissioner Yoram Halevy said the metal detectors were necessary for the site to reopen. He said that security measures of this kind are commonplace in the world.

Sheikh Ikrema Sabri, an imam at the mosque, backed protests by Palestinian Muslims, who have prayed outside the gates of the mosque since metal detectors were installed at the site.

The attackers were Israeli Arabs from Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel, Rosenfeld said.

Palestinians view the new measures as Israel asserting further control over the site.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas conveyed a similar message to Netanyahu when the two spoke by phone on Friday in the wake of the attack. A Palestinian carried out a car-ramming attack near the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank today, lightly wounding two Israeli soldiers before being shot dead, officials said.

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