Palestinian President cuts contacts with Israel

Israel's restrictions on the Al Aqsa Compound get Palestinians protesting at Times Square in New York

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced he was freezing ties with Israel over the installation of metal detectors, dealing a blow to fledgling Trump administration efforts to try to renew long-dormant peace talks.

Karmi-Ayyoub said that the imposition of restrictive measures on the Palestinian access to the al-Aqsa Mosque is in line with the Tel Aviv regime's broader agenda of occupying the whole Palestinian territories and expelling the Arabs from their homeland.

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.

Also Saturday, a Palestinian was seriously wounded during clashes between Palestinian rioters and Israeli police in the West Bank town of al-Eizariya, east of Jerusalem, according to Palestinian media reports.

"We reject Israeli restrictions at the Aqsa Mosque", said Jerusalem's senior Muslim cleric, Grand Mufti Mohammad Hussein.

Farhan Haq, the United Nations spokesman, told reporters on Friday that "ultimately, what is important is for all of the people at the holy sites, including all the worshippers at the holy sites, to feel that their religious liberties are being respected".

Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said reinforcements have been deployed in and around the Old City.


Muslim leaders and Palestinian political factions had urged the faithful to gather for a "day of rage" against the new security policies, which they see as altering the agreements that have governed the holy site for decades.

A fourth Israeli was wounded in the attack, Magen David Adom, Israel's ambulance service, told CNN.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said it was treating three Palestinians who were shot with rubber bullets, six who suffered tear gas inhalation, and one who fell during the Qalandia clashes.

Tensions in Jerusalem's Old City boiled over into skirmishes after the midday prayer.

In recent years, religious opinion has shifted, and growing numbers of Jews are visiting the compound. The Waqf does not allow non-Muslims to pray on the Mount or bring holy objects to the site; whereas Muslim prayer is unrestricted.

The compound is considered the third holiest site in Islam and the most sacred for Jews, who call it Temple Mount.

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