Israel reopens Jerusalem holy site after attack that killed 2
JERUSALEM — Hundreds of Muslim worshippers visited a Jerusalem holy site Sunday after Israel reopened the compound following a rare closure in response to a deadly shooting last week that raised concerns about wider unrest.
For the first time in decades, Israel closed the site — known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount — on Friday after three Arab citizens of Israel opened fire from the sacred site with automatic weapons, killing two police officers. The three were later shot dead inside the compound.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that following consultations with security officials the site would be reopened Sunday afternoon with increased security measures that included metal detectors at the entrance gates and additional security cameras.
At midday, Israeli police opened two of the gates to the compound to allow worshippers to enter through the newly erected detectors. Police said some worshippers refused to go through them and knelt to pray outside instead. But despite concerns that the new measures could slow movement and spark renewed tensions, police said they appeared to be working fine and that 200 people had already passed through.
Israel did not coordinate the changes with Jordan, which serves as the custodian of the Muslim-administered site, according to a Jordanian 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 who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the still developing situation with reporters.
Muslims pray Sunday near the entrance of a holy site that Israel reopened after a deadly Friday attack. Some worshippers refused to enter because of new security measures.