Palestinians protest, pray outside Al-Aqsa


Palestinian Muslim worshippers prevented from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque pray outside Jerusalem's Old City, Friday, July 14, 2017.

Israel shut down the holy site and installed checkpoints and metal detectors at its entrances after three Palestinian Muslims with Israeli citizenship shot dead two Israel policemen on Friday morning.

General Director of the Jordanian-run Islamic Waqf, Azzam Khatib, said during a sit-in for Waqf officials and staff outside Bab al-Majlis (Al-Nather), one of the gates to Al-Aqsa compound, that Muslim worshipers should not accept the new Israeli police measures for entering the Muslim holy place.

Also on Monday, an Israeli minister announced that the metal detector was not subject to any negotiation.

"By refusing to enter through the metal detectors we will show we reject any measure by the occupation authority, which has no right to change the status quo". It was the first time in 50 years that Israel closed the compound, which is Islam's third holiest site.

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The Waqf, Jordan's Islamic authority that manages religious affairs at the site, was outraged over the metal detectors. Muslims have rejected the Israeli measures and have been holding the daily prayer ritual outside the gates causing tension with the police that often end up with clashes.

Omar Kiswani, director of al-Aqsa Mosque, told reporters outside the site that "the closure, the occupation, and the prevention of the call for prayers are all unfair and unjust and constitute a violation of the United Nations resolutions and the worldwide agreements".

And while the Fatah Movement called on Monday for a "day of rage" against increased Israeli security measures, the Hamas Movement said the battle for Al-Aqsa would remain open.

"They are gradually trying to completely control the mosque", he said.