Police 'ready for any situation' amid huge Muslim protests in Jerusalem

Police 'ready for any situation' amid huge Muslim protests in Jerusalem

Israeli police said they are barring men under 50 from entering Jerusalem's Old City for Friday Muslim prayers as tensions rose over new security measures at a supersensitive holy site.

Since their installation, the metal detectors have inspired nightly confrontations between Israel security and Palestinian protesters.

At least three Palestinians were shot dead during clashes with Israeli forces in and near Jerusalem on Friday as protests over Israeli controls on access to the Al Aqsa compound turned violent.

The skirmishes came ahead of Friday prayers, when tens of thousands of Muslim worshippers are expected to visit the site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and Jews as the Temple Mount.

Netanyahu's office responded that Israel would "take all the necessary actions to maintain security on the Temple Mount, without changing the status quo", the New York Times reported.

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But a spokesperson suggested that officers may sometimes only choose to conduct spot checks, after Israel's security cabinet decided not to overrule the decision to install detectors. Mufti Muhammad Hussein told Haaretz: "We will continue to struggle against the metal detectors until the Israeli government takes them out of there".

Jordan has repeatedly appealed to Israel to remove the metal detectors and thousands of Jordanians protested in Amman on Friday.

Baker, whose organization works to safeguard the city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) by preserving its Arab identity and sacred Islamic and Christian sites, said: "We have called on Muslims worldwide to fast every Thursday until Al-Aqsa is liberated".

Rivlin called last week's attack "intolerable".

The Israeli military therefore expects today to be an especially angry day for protests against metal detectors and cameras, which were mounted at the entrances to the site after the deadly attack on Israeli police last week. He continued that the U.S. will continue to monitor the situation closely.

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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 compound, which houses both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque, is the third holiest site in Islam.

The area, in East Jerusalem, has been under Israeli occupation since the 1967 Middle East war.

The metal detectors were put in place following a gun and knife attack near the holy compound that killed two Israeli policemen on July 14.

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