Saudi king pressured USA to seek reopening of Al Aqsa Mosque

Saudi king pressured USA to seek reopening of Al Aqsa Mosque

"We will not break the solidarity of the people", said Jamal Abdallah, a Palestinian who now lives in the USA state of Arizona and was planning to visit Al Aqsa, but changed his mind when he was told of the situation.Israel took the highly unusual decision of closing the compound for Friday prayers, triggering anger from Muslims and Jordan, the holy site's custodian.

Muslims have been protesting outside the Temple Mount all week long, a lot of them refusing to enter the compound as long as there are metal detectors installed at the entrances. One person had a serious chest injury, a spokesperson said. "I believe that they will not let Al-Aqsa have the same fate as Al-Khalil Mosque, cave of discretion, prudency, moderation, and peace patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph", he wrote in reference to the 1994 massacre at the Ibrabimi Msoque in Hebron where 30 Muslim worshippers were killed by a USA -born Jewish terrorist.

The Israelis' crime? Installing metal detectors on the Temple Mount, and closing the Mount for two days due to extreme security concerns, immediately after Muslims shot two Israeli policemen dead there last Friday in a terror attack.

According to police reports, a group of Muslim worshipers threw rocks and bottles at police officers stationed by the Temple Mount after evening prayers on Tuesday, lightly injuring two officers. One of them said that the compound was relatively empty, with few Muslim visitors. Employees of the Muslim administration, or Waqf, stayed on Jordan's payroll. "We will stay outside the mosque until we get back the way it was taken from us", he said. Meanwhile, worshipers have lined up in the streets, dozens at a time, to perform prayers in the streets.

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The protests began after the mosque was reopened on Sunday following a two-day closure in response to the shootout that killed two Israeli police officers and three Palestinians. The gunmen, all from the Arab city of Umm al-Fahm in central Israel, were subsequently shot and killed by the police.

The assailants were killed by security forces and Israeli authorities briefly closed the compound.

The Palestinian PM added that Israel's increased security measures are part of a sustained attempt to change the status quo at the compound, which is considered as Islam's third holiest site.

Israel has denied such allegations, saying metal detectors are routine security devices used at holy sites around the world.

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"We should look at the facts and the truth - the installation of metal detectors does not constitute any change in the status quo", he said. In 2014 Jordan, the USA and Israel agreed on a number of steps to reduce tensions at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, including sticking to the status quo and restricting visits by non-Muslims.

The Palestinian movement called Israel's new measures a "fierce and organized attack" against Palestinians in East Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. Israel views all of Jerusalem as its capital, a claim that has not won worldwide recognition.

Jews revere the 37-acre raised platform as the site of their biblical temples.

Due to the special sensitivity, the Muslim Waqf is responsible for the administration of the site.

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