Muslims Seek to Thwart attempts to Beef Up Temple Mount Security


Worshippers dispersed after the prayers without incident.

Israeli border police screen Muslims on Sunday at a newly installed metal detector at a main entrance of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City.

Roni Alsheich says the policemen died of wounds sustained in the attack earlier Friday.

Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, the former grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestinian territories, said on Saturday that the closure was a "collective punishment" that affected thousands of worshippers, adds Al-Jazeera.

Hamas, the Islamic movement that runs the Gaza Strip, called the attack "a natural response to the Zionist terrorism and the desecration of the Al-Aqsa mosque", referring to previous Israeli raids at the site.

"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.

The two policemen killed were Israeli Arab citizens from the country's Druze community.

Two Israeli police officers, Major General Eyal Sattawi and Kamil Shanan, were killed. The suspect opened fire with an automatic weapon, prompting the troops to return fire, killing him.

Over 300 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli force since October that year, when the clashes intensified.

Israeli security forces stand guard in Jerusalem's Old City after Friday's shooting attack. It is the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina. The United States strongly condemns the terror attack.

The Jerusalem shrine has been the scene of repeated confrontations, including during the current wave of violence. Jews are permitted to visit the mosque but are forbidden to pray at the site to avoid stirring up any possible conflict.

The new step led to bigger disputes and a war on "the sovereignty of the mosque", leading to further confrontations near one of the gates, and leaving several Palestinians injured.

The incident was one of the triggers of an armed Palestinian uprising and an Israeli military crackdown.

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.