OIC condemns Israel's closure of al-Aqsa Mosque

Hatzalah spokesperson

Hatzalah spokesperson

On Sunday, dozens of Muslim worshipers held midday prayers outside the compound, at an entrance to the site next to the Lions' Gate entry to the Old City, in a bid to show their dissent with the newly-implemented measures.

Clashes erupted at Al-Aqsa Mosque yesterday leading to the death of three Palestinian from Umm Al-Fahm.

Police said that despite the tensions, hundreds of worshippers had entered the compound.

"This is a severe violation of the status quo", said Shikh Omar al-Qiswani, the director of the al-Aksa Mosque, said in a statement.

They called on the faithful "not to enter the mosque through" the detectors. "We will stay outside the mosque until we get back the way it was taken from us", he said. He also called for the reopening of the Temple Mount.

A few of the attacks had been carried out by Arab Israeli citizens.

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 global agreements".

The American ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, wrote on Twitter about the attack: "Shocked and horrified by the despicable attack". "Only three Awqaf employees are allowed on the site, including the chief electrical engineer", Halaq said. He spoke on Sunday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the situation with reporters. It is adjacent to the Western Wall, the holiest site where Israelis are permitted to pray.

Muslims regard the same hilltop compound as the Noble Sanctuary.

"[Israelis] broke the protest because they don't want people to be near Al-Aqsa mosque, they don't want their measures to be exposed", he told Anadolu Agency.

The thousands who come to the mosque every Friday for prayers were turned away, and forced to pray in the streets under the close watch of armed Israeli forces.

This latest round of violence - sometimes referred to as the "Stabbing Intifada" - began in 2015 and although the attacks have become less frequent they have not stopped. On Monday it opened to visitors.

"I assume that with time they will understand that this is not awful", he told Army Radio.

The Waqf officials were not required to pass through the detectors.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem, where the Old City and the holy sites are located, following the 1967 Six-Day War and now claims sovereignty over the entire city - a move that is not recognised by the global community. No group claimed responsibility, though the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, praised the attack.

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