Israel reopens Al Aqsa mosque, but Palestinians refuse to enter
[DAWN] Israel reopened an ultra-sensitive holy site on Sunday closed after an attack that killed two policemen, but Muslim worshippers were refusing to enter due to new security measures including metal detectors and cameras.
Crowds chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) as a number of initial visitors entered Jerusalem’s Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.
The flashpoint holy site includes the Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
Calls to prayer rang out from Al Aqsa, but dozens of Muslim worshippers held midday prayers outside the site in protest at the new security measures.
Around 150 people gathered outside for prayers later in the afternoon. Police said some 200 people entered the compound.
“We reject the changes imposed by the Israeli government,” Sheikh Omar Kiswani, Al Aqsa director, told reporters outside. “We will not enter through these metal detectors.”
Some women wailed and cried while telling people not to enter.
Waheeb Liftawi, 52, prayed inside Al Aqsa at midday without knowing of the calls to remain outside. During prayers later in the afternoon, he prayed outside.
Posted by: Fred 2017-07-18