Is­lamic lead­ers boy­cott holy site

Protests af­ter Is­rael sets up metal de­tec­tors

Arab Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

JERUSALEM, July 17, (Agen­cies): Is­lamic lead­ers called on Mus­lims on Mon­day to boy­cott a Jerusalem holy site at the heart of the Is­raeli-Pales­tinian con­flict in a ges­ture of protest af­ter Is­rael set up metal de­tec­tors at the site’s en­trance gates fol­low­ing a deadly Arab at­tack there last week.

For the first time in decades, Is­rael closed the site — sa­cred to Mus­lims as the Noble Sanc­tu­ary and to Jews as the Temple Mount — on Fri­day, af­ter three Arab Mus­lim Is­raeli cit­i­zens opened fire from the holy com­pound with au­to­matic weapons, killing two po­lice of­fi­cers be­fore they were shot and killed.

Is­rael re­opened the com­pound to Mus­lim wor­ship­pers on Sun­day af­ter im­pos­ing new se­cu­rity mea­sures, in­clud­ing metal de­tec­tors at the en­trance gates and ad­di­tional se­cu­rity cam­eras.

The Waqf, Jor­dan’s Is­lamic au­thor­ity that man­ages re­li­gious af­fairs at the site, was out­raged over the metal de­tec­tors. Dozens of wor­ship­pers have prayed on the streets near the gate af­ter re­fus­ing to en­ter via the metal de­tec­tors. Mi­nor scuf­fles broke out there on Sun­day as some Mus­lim wor­ship­pers tried to stop oth­ers from us­ing the gates, Is­raeli me­dia re­ported.

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

The Waqf, to­gether with other Is­lamic groups, is­sued a state­ment Mon­day call­ing on Mus­lims “to re­ject and boy­cott all the Is­raeli ag­gres­sion mea­sures, in­clud­ing chang­ing the his­tor­i­cal sta­tus quo in­clud­ing im­pos­ing the metal de­tec­tors.”

Called

They called on the faith­ful “not to en­ter the mosque through” the de­tec­tors. The state­ment fur­ther said that “if the metal de­tec­tors con­tinue to be im­posed, we call upon the peo­ple to pray in front of the gates of the mosque and in the streets of Jerusalem.”

The fate of the com­pound, holy to both Jews and Mus­lims, is an emo­tional

key’s threats flew in the face of in­ter­na­tional law which pro­hibits the ar­bi­trary de­pri­va­tion of na­tion­al­ity. (RTRS)

Is­raeli soldier in house ar­rest:

An Is­raeli soldier who shot dead a wounded Pales­tinian as­sailant will be placed on house ar­rest pend­ing his ap­peal of his is­sue and forms the cen­ter­piece of ri­val Is­raeli and Pales­tinian na­tional nar­ra­tives. Any per­ceived changes to the del­i­cate ar­range­ments at the site can spark ten­sions. Its closure af­ter Fri­day’s at­tack prompted con­dem­na­tions from the Arab world.

Jor­dan called for its im­me­di­ate re­open­ing and there were protests in the streets there against Is­rael, with which Amman has a peace treaty.

Is­rael did not co­or­di­nate the changes with Jor­dan, which serves as the cus­to­dian of the Mus­lim-ad­min­is­tered site, ac­cord­ing to a Jor­da­nian gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial. Jor­dan’s stance is that any­thing in­stalled at the site must be ap­proved by the Waqf, or Mus­lim ad­min­is­tra­tion, and can­not change the sta­tus quo, said the of­fi­cial. He spoke on Sun­day on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause he was not au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion with re­porters.

Bib­li­cal

Jews re­vere the site, where the two Jewish tem­ples stood in bib­li­cal times, as the Temple Mount. It is the holi­est site in Ju­daism and the nearby West­ern Wall, a rem­nant of one of the tem­ples, is the holi­est place where Jews can pray.

Mus­lims re­gard the same hill­top com­pound as the Noble Sanc­tu­ary. Home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, it is Is­lam’s third­holi­est site af­ter Mecca and Me­d­ina in Saudi Ara­bia.

The Jerusalem shrine has been the scene of re­peated con­fronta­tions but Fri­day’s brazen shoot­ing was rare be­cause it took place in­side the com­pound and also be­cause the at­tack­ers were from Is­rael’s Arab mi­nor­ity.

A rash of Pales­tinian at­tacks on Is­raeli civil­ians and sol­diers erupted in 2015, partly over ten­sions at the holy site.

Po­lice have been grad­u­ally re­open­ing the site. On Mon­day it opened to vis­i­tors. Spokesman Micky Rosen­feld said the se­cu­rity mea­sures “are to en­sure and pre­vent fur­ther in­ci­dents or

man­slaugh­ter con­vic­tion and 18-month sen­tence, the army said Mon­day.

A mil­i­tary court ruled that Elor Azaria will be placed un­der house ar­rest on July 20, when his manda­tory three-year mil­i­tary ser­vice ends, an army spokes­woman said.

The French-Is­raeli in­fantry medic has been un­der “open ar­rest” con­fined to his army base. at­tacks” and would con­tinue.

Jerusalem po­lice com­mis­sioner Yo­ram Halevy said the metal de­tec­tors were nec­es­sary for the site to re­open.

As­sume

“I as­sume that with time they will un­der­stand that this is not ter­ri­ble,” he told Army Ra­dio. He said that se­cu­rity mea­sures of this kind are com­mon­place in the world.

“When I go shop­ping on Fri­day I pass through a de­tec­tor at the mall,” Halevy said. “We see them ev­ery­where they have be­come a part of our lives.”

In the past two years, Pales­tini­ans have killed 45 Is­raelis, two vis­it­ing Amer­i­cans and a Bri­tish tourist in stab­bings, shoot­ings and at­tacks us­ing cars to ram into Is­raeli civil­ians and troops.

Dur­ing that pe­riod, Is­raeli forces have killed more than 254 Pales­tini­ans, most of them said by Is­rael to be at­tack­ers while oth­ers were killed in clashes with Is­raeli forces.

Is­rael blames the vi­o­lence on incite­ment by Pales­tinian po­lit­i­cal and re­li­gious lead­ers com­pounded on so­cial me­dia sites that glo­rify vi­o­lence and en­cour­age at­tacks.

Pales­tini­ans say the at­tacks are trig­gered by anger over decades of Is­raeli rule in ter­ri­to­ries they claim for their fu­ture state.

The com­pound was largely empty on Mon­day apart from tourists and Jewish vis­i­tors, with Mus­lims again pray­ing and protest­ing out­side the site in­stead of en­ter­ing through the metal de­tec­tors.

The Haram al-Sharif com­pound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, in­cludes the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Sev­eral hun­dred peo­ple could be seen pray­ing out­side two dif­fer­ent en­trances to the site around midday on Mon­day.

There were protests af­ter the prayer, with crowds shout­ing: “Aqsa mosque, we sac­ri­fice our souls and our blood.” Po­lice later sought to move them back.

Mil­i­tary judges are ex­pected to rule on his ap­peal on July 30, Is­raeli me­dia re­ported. His im­pris­on­ment has been post­poned pend­ing his ap­peal. (AFP)

Ac­tivists face charges:

Ten hu­man rights ac­tivists are ap­pear­ing be­fore a court in Is­tan­bul to face pos­si­ble charges.

The ac­tivists, in­clud­ing Amnesty In­ter­na­tional’s Tur­key director Idil Eser, were de­tained ear­lier this month in a po­lice raid on a ho­tel where they were at­tend­ing a work­shop on dig­i­tal se­cu­rity. They were be­ing ques­tioned by court of­fi­cials on Mon­day.

Amnesty said the group was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for mem­ber­ship in an armed ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion. (AP)

PKK at­tack wounds 17:

Tur­key’s mil­i­tary says Kur­dish rebels have det­o­nated an im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice as a mil­i­tary ve­hi­cle passed by, wound­ing 17 sol­diers.

A mil­i­tary state­ment said the at­tack oc­curred Mon­day near the town of Yusekova, in the mainly Kur­dish prov­ince of Hakkari.

The state­ment said the sol­diers were quickly evac­u­ated and hos­pi­tal­ized. Four of them were in se­ri­ous con­di­tion. (AP)

The Kur­dis­tan Work­ers’ Party, or PKK, has waged a three-decade long in­sur­gency in south­east Tur­key. Tens of thou­sands were killed in the con­flict.

Vi­o­lence flared again in 2015 af­ter the col­lapse of a two-year peace process.

The group is con­sid­ered a ter­ror­ist group by Tur­key, the US and the Euro­pean Union. (AP)

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