Firebomb sparks unrest at sensitive Jerusalem holy site

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On Tuesday, Israeli police shut the Al-Aqsa compound on claims of an arson attack on an Israeli police station near the site, triggering clashes with angry Palestinians.

No injuries were reported, but scuffles broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinian worshippers, which resulted in the arrest of at least two Palestinians, Israeli authorities said. Four Palestinians, including two women, were arrested.The Israeli military closed all the doors of al-Aqsa and expelled the worshipers after beating them with sticks.In the West Bank, the Israeli military killed a young Palestinian man by accusing him of wanting to carry out a martyrdom operation.Israeli media published an image of this young Palestinian shot with a bullet in his chest.

Wasfi Kilani, executive director of the Hashemite Fund for the Reconstruction of Al Aqsa and the Dome of Rock, has said that the issue of the Bab Al Rahmah "revealed the intentions of the extremist Jewish organisations and the scheming of the Israeli occupation forces to judaise Jerusalem and its holy sites".

The statement called on the worldwide community to break its silence and to promote its positions from condemnation throughout leaflets and statements to practical actions by the United Nations resolution.

The Waqf, a Jordanian-appointed body that oversees Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, has staged periodic prayer-protests since late February to call for the reopening of the building.

Abbas denounced the "dangerous Israeli escalation" and warned of "serious repercussions".

According to the agreement, neighborhoods in Old and New Jerusalem will be developed, a large area will be allocated for office space and investment in infrastructure.

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu lashed out at Israel over the incident, saying it was time to end the country's "recklessness".

"Restraint must be show to avoid inflaming an already tense situation", UN Middle East envoy Nikolay Mladenov tweeted, expressing concern over the escalating situation. "We will do everything necessary to restore security and quiet to the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and to the south in general".

In recent weeks Bab al-Rahmeh and Bab al-Tawbeh have been used by Palestinian Muslims as areas to pray, with prayer carpets laid on the ground.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) reaffirmed on Tuesday that East Jerusalem is part of the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967 and the eternal capital of the state of Palestine.

His office said it has been in communication with a number of parties including Jordan, in an effort "to pressure the occupation's government to halt this unsafe escalation".

Officials in Jordan, which is the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, have confirmed they are in negotiations with Israel to resolve the dispute.

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