Temple Mount reopens to Jewish visitors days after deadly attack

Temple Mount reopens to Jewish visitors days after deadly attack

Israeli forces have reopened the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds two days after they closed it following a deadly shooting in the area, but Muslims refused to enter in protest to newly imposed security measures, including metal detectors and cameras.

Basem Badawi, a 60-year-old water seller in the Old City, told AFP that "I was standing here and then I heard the shooting".

"Until now, we don't know what is going on with my father", he said.

Netanyahu said Saturday night before he left on a plane to Paris that he spoke with the parents of the two Druze-Israeli police officers killed in the Friday attack on the Temple Mount.

The past twenty-four hours, major Arab state groups and Jordan each separately condemned Israel for temporarily closing the Temple Mount on Friday, but failed to mention the murderous Palestinian terrorist attack at the Mount that prompted Israel to enforce the closure for national security reasons.

Dozens of worshippers gathered to pray in front of the Lions' Gate entrance to the compound.

Youssef Ideiss, Palestinian Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs, said the Authority would not allow any party to damage the sovereignty of the Mosque.

According to the agency, Abbas called upon Netanyahu to end the closure of the holy site, while Netanyahu asked Abbas that all sides should remain calm, as reported by Wafa.

WCC acting general secretary Isabel Apawo Phiri condemned the July 14 attack and expressed condolences, reaching out with prayers for those who lost loved ones due to the most recent violence as well as recurring violence in the same area.

Firas Dibs, spokesman for the Islamic Waqf which runs the site, confirmed reports that workers from the Israeli-run Jerusalem municipality had entered the site Sunday morning to clean it before it was reopened - a move they said was unprecedented.

Muslim worshippers were very angry with the incident and wanted to reopen the site immediately.Palestinian religious and political leaders, Jordan and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a world Islamic body, among others been called to reopen it as soon as possible.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the decision to install the metal detectors and cameras following a meeting with security officials on Saturday.

The Tel Aviv regime has been trying to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem al-Quds by constructing settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming all of al-AQsa mosque as Israeli's capital, a move never recognized by the global community. Jews are allowed to visit, but not pray there to avoid provoking tensions.

"The path to peace, for which both Israelis and Palestinians yearn, can not be paved with violence", the USA bishops said.