Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock - Photo credit The Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs of Palestine Facebook page
CAIRO – 14 July 2017: Israeli Police announced that Friday prayers for Muslims would not be held at al-Aqsa mosque today. Furthermore, the police prevented Jerusalem’s Grand Mufti (preacher), Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, from entering the mosque from multiple entrances.
From his side and as a response, the Grand Mufti, called on all Palestinians to perform Friday prayers at al-Aqsa mosque following the Israeli prevention decision.
Early on Friday morning, three Palestinians were killed and two Israelis were injured during an armed confrontation in the Old City of East Jerusalem early on Friday morning.
According to Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, three Palestinians carried out a shooting attack at the Lions’ Gate at around 7:00 a.m. on Friday, critically injuring two Israeli police officers, who were taken to hospitals for treatment, and moderately injuring another. The three Palestinians were shot dead.
On Friday morning, Israeli forces killed an 18-year-old Palestinian, Baraa Hamamda, during a detention raid in al-Dueisha refugee camp in the Bethlehem, West Bank.
According to Palestinian “Maan news” agency, the toll of Palestinians killed by Israelis in 2017 is 43, and eight Israelis have been killed by Palestinians during the same period.
Thousands of Muslims pray every Friday at al-Aqsa Mosque. This is the third time to close al-Aqsa mosque compound since Israel's capture of east Jerusalem in the 1967.The last time the compound was closed off to Muslims was in 2014, when far-right Jewish Yehuda Glick was shot in the area, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Glick currently serves as a member of Israel’s Knesset (Parliament).
According to abc news, a wave of Palestinian street attacks began in 2015 and resulted in killing at least 255 Palestinians and one Jordanian citizen. Thirty-eight Israelis, two U.S. tourists and a British student have been killed in stabbings, shootings and car-ramming.
Israel blames the wave of violence on incitement by the Palestinian leadership. The Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank, says desperation over the occupation is the main driver, according to abc news.
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