Israel to reopen holy site closed after deadly attack

Elias Hubbard
July 16, 2017

Israel said on Saturday it will reopen the ultra-sensitive Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, whose closure after a deadly attack sparked anger from Muslims and Jordan, the holy site's custodian.

The decision to reopen the compound, also holy to Jews who call it the Temple Mount, was taken by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who was leaving for an official visit to France.

"Malaysia strongly condemn Israel's closure of the Al-Aqsa mosque and denying the rights of the Muslims to perform Friday prayers", he said in his Twitter account on Sunday.

Israeli police banned last Friday's Muslim prayers at Jerusalem's holiest site after two Israeli policemen were shot dead in a shooting near the site.

"I decided that as of tomorrow, in the framework of our policy of maintaining the status-quo, we will gradually open the Temple Mount, but with increased security measures", he said.

While highlighting the importance of the re-opening of al-Aqsa Mosque as soon as possible, Ghasemi called on all independent countries and the worldwide community to put pressure on the Israeli regime so that the least rights of people in the occupied territories would be observed.

Netanyahu had said the compound could reopen Sunday after security was assessed, and rejected Jordan's criticism.

Moreover, Jordanian lawmaker Kais Zayadin said in a social media post that the global community should impose a punishment on Israel as the regime has "executed unarmed Palestinian citizens, without a trial".

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Netanyahu spoke by phone on Friday as tensions rose.

"Metal detectors will be stationed at the entrance gates to Temple Mount and cameras covering activity on the mount will be installed outside it", the statement read.

Israeli forces have detained more than 58 workers and guards from Al Aqsa Mosque, according to Palestinian media outlets, which reported that Israeli forces have also "vandalised" public facilities of the mosque after the death of the two soldiers.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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