Gaza militant factions say Israel's Temple Mount measures will 'ignite region'

Gaza militant factions say Israel's Temple Mount measures will 'ignite region'

Israel reopened Jerusalem's Noble Sanctuary-Temple Mount compound on Sunday, drawing a protest by Muslim religious authorities over the installation of metal detectors at entrances two days after a deadly shooting.

Following the incident, the Israeli police closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, briefly detained Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem al-Quds, and canceled Muslim Friday prayers at the site.

It was for the first time in the past 50 years that Israel closed the compound, which is Islam's third holiest site.

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Israel blames Palestinian leaders for incitement to violence while the Palestinians charge Israel's military occupation and attempts to change the delicate status quo at the contested holy site as the factors behind the violent attacks. Under the status quo agreement, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged late on Saturday to continue to uphold, Jews are allowed to enter the compound under close supervision, but only Muslims are permitted to worship there.

The 14-hectare (35-acre) rectangular esplanade at the southeast corner of the Old City was seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, along with the rest of east Jerusalem, and later annexed in a move never internationally recognised. The police said they plan to gradually open additional gates, after installing metal detectors.

The attack triggered a rare phone conversation between Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who condemned the attack and called for the site to be reopened.

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"The holiest site at which Jews can pray here is the Western Wall €" among the last remnants of the Second Temple. 'I assume that with time they will understand that this is not awful, ' he told Army Radio. But despite concerns that the new measures could slow movement and spark renewed tensions, police said they appeared to be working fine and that 200 people had already passed through. "We see them everywhere they have become a part of our lives".

Other reports say that two pedestrians in their 60s were also wounded in the alleged car-ramming assault.

Following the deadly attack, Israeli authorities imposed a two-day closure of the mosque and claimed that it was necessary to carry out security checks.

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This frequently creates tensions with Muslim worshippers who fear Israel will seek to change rules governing the compound now administered by Jordan in coordination with the Palestinians.

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