Israel faces mounting Palestinian anger over holy site metal detectors

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli security forces in the West Bank town of Bethlehem

Dozens of Israeli settlers raided the ultra-sensitive al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City on Thursday morning under the protection of Israeli special forces, a security source told The New Arab.

Clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli authorities at Jerusalem's sacred Temple Mount or Noble Sanctuary entered the fourth day as Israeli police punched a Muslim worshiper in the face and used stun grenades to disperse a crowd of protesters.

Israeli security forces installed metal detectors at Al Aqsa Mosque in response to the attack, sparking protests.

He said he will suspend all official contacts with Israel until it removes metal detectors from Temple Mount.

Israel has defended the controversial moves, claiming they were no different from security measures at other holy sites around the world.

An Israeli official said the security cabinet "has given police the authority to make any decision to ensure free access to holy sites while maintaining security and public order".

Dozens of Palestinians been injured in clashes with Israeli forces in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank amid friction over a Jerusalem holy site. Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said developments regarding the al-Aqsa mosque were disrupting and unacceptable. Worshippers held peaceful mass prayers in the neighborhoods surrounding the Old City, adhering to calls for civil disobedience by Palestinian leaders over the past week. The ambassador said that "the Israeli extremist government makes to make the situation explode, above all to hinder U.S. attempts to restart dialogue for the two-state solution".


Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations special coordinator for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, called for calm.

They asked every mosque in the city to close and worshippers were urged to instead pray outside the gates of al Aqsa rather than submit to the security procedures.

Palestinians have been refusing to enter the compound all week in protest at the metal detectors.

The Waqf refused to ascend the Temple Mount after the installation of the metal detectors and security cameras.

Master Sgt. Kamil Shnaan, left, and Master Sgt. Haiel Sitawe, right, the police officers killed in the terror attack next to the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem on July 14, 2017.

Tensions have been running high since the introduction of additional checks Sunday, after two Israeli police officers were killed at the site in a terrorist attack last week.

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