Abbas: Palestinians will not accept metal detectors in al-Aqsa


Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police have erupted in Jerusalem.

ISRAEL will not remove metal detectors whose installation outside a major Jerusalem mosque has triggered the bloodiest confrontations with the Palestinians in years, but could eventually reduce their use, Israeli officials said yesterday.

"I declare the suspension of all contacts with the Israeli side on all levels until it cancels its measures at Al-Aqsa mosque and preserves the status quo", Abbas said.

On Friday, anger boiled over and several thousand Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in the West Bank and in Jerusalem after noon prayers, the highlight of the Muslim religious week.

The image of a Palestinian Christian reading from his bible while the crowd of Muslim worshippers he stood among prostrated themselves on the ground, or Christian clergy joining their Muslim counterparts at the head of processions, have been widely shared during the past week of unrest over one of Jerusalem's most important holy sites.

Meanwhile, another group of protesters also gathered to condemn Israel's latest restrictions in Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the latest killing in Northern Ireland's Londonderry city.

Four Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli forces since Friday over the Temple Mount metal detectors, and another was killed Saturday when a petrol bomb he was planning to throw at Israeli security forces exploded prematurely.

Israel did not immediately respond to Abbas's announcement on Friday night. But Muslims alleged Israel was trying to expand its control at the Muslim-administered site and have launched mass prayer protests.

The Palestinian Health Ministry identified them as Muhammad Mahmoud Sharaf, 17, from the mostly Palestinian neighborhood of Ras al-Amud in East Jerusalem; Muhammad Abu Ghanam, from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of At-Tur, which is on the Mount of Olives; and Muhammad Lafi, 18, from Abu Dis, a Palestinian town on the outskirts of the city.

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Israel's prime minister says the home of a Palestinian assailant who stabbed to death three members of an Israeli family will be demolished swiftly.

"Three Palestinians were killed during violent clashes with Israeli security forces".

On Sunday evening, a Jordanian man was shot and killed and an Israeli wounded in still unclear circumstances at the Israeli embassy in Amman, according to the news site Hala Akhbar, which is linked to the Jordanian military. Participants in the funeral chanted slogans in memory of the teenager, and in support of al-Aqsa Mosque.

Tensions over the site, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount, have surged in recent days.

"Can the people of Jerusalem - the living, breathing city, not just a city of heritage - ever live in peace without a clear definition of the management of holy space in Jerusalem?"

The metal detectors are perceived by the Palestinians as an encroachment on Muslim rights and have led to protests in the Muslim world.

The cameras were spotted Sunday as Israel said it was considering an "alternative" to the metal detectors at the contested shrine that set off a weekend of violence.

Considered the third holiest site in Islam, it is the most sacred for Jews.