Mahmoud Abbas freezes all contact with Israel over Temple Mount metal detectors

Jul 24, 2017, 00:59
Mahmoud Abbas freezes all contact with Israel over Temple Mount metal detectors

He underlined the Islamic nature of the mosque, saying that "Al-Aqsa is and always will be a Muslim site" and could not be turned it into a Jewish site.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas spoke with USA counterpart Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, urging the White House to intervene, the Palestinians' official Wafa news agency reported.

The measures led to a wave of anger among Palestinians, who called for the immediate removal of the detectors.

Interviewed on Army Radio, Erdan said Israel may do away with metal-detector checks for all Muslims entering the al Aqsa compounds under alternative arrangements under review.

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A spokesman for Housing Minister Yoav Galant told Haaretz: "We will be everywhere that it is possible to build".

Israel, for its part, refused to remove the detectors, claiming the security measures were similar to procedures taken 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". "This is problematic - they are using it to booby-trap the area with potential for terrorism".

The main weekly prayers on Fridays draw the largest number of worshippers.

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His comments came as the Arab League's secretary-general accused Israel of "playing with fire" with the new measures at the compound, known as Haram Al Sharif. 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 Society's head of board of trustees, Muhammad Al-Amin Khalifa, said in a press conference: "What is happening in Al-Aqsa Mosque is a serious matter and everyone must take a frim stand for freedom and peace".

The League said it would hold an emergency meeting of foreign ministers on Wednesday to discuss the escalating tensions.

Protests erupted Sunday after the mosque's leadership spoke out against metal detectors that were installed following a gun attack last week that left three Palestinians and two Israeli police officers dead.

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"A short while ago, a terrorist infiltrated a home in Neve Tsuf and stabbed 4 Israelis". The family had sat down to a traditional Friday evening meal when the attack occurred, according to Israel Radio.

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