Abbas urges world governments; Stop Israeli measures in Jerusalem

Prayer on the streets of Jerusalem

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

He also urged the Arab and Islamic world to support Jerusalem and the steadfastness of Palestinians.

It comes after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors at the site, after two border police officers were killed in an attack at the site last Friday.

Muslim worshipers were refusing to enter Al Aqsa Mosque due to new security measures announced by Israeli forces including metal detectors and cameras.

Palestinians subsequently rioted in Jerusalem, clashing with Israeli security forces near the Old City's Lion's Gate entrance.

Israel has defended the controversial move, claiming they are no different from security measures at other holy sites around the world. It is the holiest site in Judaism and the nearby Western Wall, a remnant of one of the temples, is the holiest place where Jews can pray.

Rather, they called on Netanyahu to remove the metal detectors, calling them "collective punishment" and a violation of religious freedom.

The Red Crescent reported on Tuesday that some 50 Palestinians were wounded in overnight clashes with Israeli police near a Jerusalem site holy to Jews and Muslims.

In an effort to calm the situation, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to condemn the attack but also to ask him to reopen the site.

The Waqf has called for all mosques in Jerusalem to be shut down on Friday, and for all Muslims to come to the street outside the Temple Mount to pray and protest the metal detectors. Police said they had been attacked by protesters armed with stones and Molotov cocktails.

Previously, Israel had removed the metal detectors at the behest of the Waqf and its Jordanian overseers.

The compound was largely empty on Monday apart from tourists and Jewish visitors, with Muslims again praying and protesting outside the site instead of entering through the metal detectors. The authority was not included in the Israeli decision to impose the security changes.

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. No further information was immediately available on the attacker's identity.

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