Posts Tagged ‘Dome of the Rock’

Israel says it foiled planned ISIS-inspired attack at Jerusalem holy site

September 28, 2017

Reuters

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel said on Thursday it had thwarted a plan by two Israeli Arabs with Islamic State sympathies to mount an attack at a contested Jerusalem holy site where a July gun ambush set off a wave of violence.

The Shin Bet security service described the suspects, aged 26 and 16, as residents of the same Israeli Arab town as three gunmen who on July 14 killed two police guards at a gate to Al-Aqsa mosque compound and were then shot dead.

Israel responded to that attack by briefly installing metal detectors outside the compound, angering Palestinians who saw that as a breach of decades-old access arrangements.

Four Palestinians were killed during ensuing confrontations with Israeli security forces and a Palestinian stabbed three Israeli settlers to death.

The two suspects taken into custody this month “support the Islamic State terrorist group’s murderous ideology and the terrorist attack was meant to be carried out in expression of this”, the Shin Bet said in its statement on Thursday.

It said they had two pistols. “They planned a gun attack at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem similar to what transpired on July 14,” it said without elaborating.

Jews revere the site, where Al-Aqsa mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock now stand, as the location of their two ancient temples. Attempts by Jews to pray there, in violation of access arrangements, have been a source of tension with Muslims.

Israel captured East Jerusalem, including the Old City and the holy compound, in the 1967 Middle East war. It annexed the area in a move that has never been recognized internationally.

Reporting by Dan Williams; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Andrew Roche

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Israeli Supreme Court: Metal Detectors Must Be Removed Because They Are “Offensive to Arabs” — But This Story May Have Another Ending

September 1, 2017

BY HAGAY HACOHEN

 

 AUGUST 31, 2017 16:00

 

A Jewish advocacy group claims that if metal detectors on Temple Mount are offensive to Arabs, they are offensive for Jewish people and tourists as well and should be removed.

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VIEW OVER The Temple Mount. Right: Al-Aksa Mosque. Left: Dome of the Rock. (. (photo credit:Mark Neiman/GPO)

The Jewish advocacy group Utzma Yhudit (Jewish Strength) appealed to the Supreme Court asking it to remove the metal detectors placed at the Temple Mount’s Mughrabi Gate in Jerusalem,which is the only gate from which non-Muslims can enter the compound.

The appeal was submitted to the court by lawyer Itamar Ben-Gvir and states that the decision of the Israeli cabinet to remove metal detectors from gates that serve Muslims and their continued use for Jews and tourists “creates a reality of discrimination due to nationality and damages the right of Jews and tourists to equality.”

On July 14, 2017, three Arab terrorists shot Israeli policemen outside the Temple Mount compound, killing two police officers.  

The three terrorists, all Arab Israeli citizens, fled back to the Temple Mount compound where they were captured and shot by Israeli police.

The Israeli government accepted the proposition by police that metal detectors should be used to prevent further attacks but Muslims refused to walk through them to enter al-Aksa mosque, stating that they view the detectors as a violation of the status quo.

Eventually, the detectors were removed.

Utzma Yhudit told the court that “there can be no disagreement that the decision to remove the detectors [used in relation to] Muslims was taken due to the race [sic] of these Muslims and them being Arabs.”

They requested that the usage of detectors in relation to Jews and non-Muslims be halted until the court reaches a decision.

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Are-Metal-Detectors-checks-for-Jews-biased-503896

Israeli MP prays at the Temple Mount

August 29, 2017

AFP

© AFP / by Stephen Weizman | Far right Israeli rabbi and parliament member Yehuda Glick walks barefoot, escorted by police and supporters, inside the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, also known as the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem’s Old City on August 29, 2017

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israeli lawmaker Yehuda Glick, shot in 2014 over his campaign for Jewish prayer an ultra-sensitive Jerusalem holy site, visited there on Tuesday during a one-day break in a government ban.

No incidents occurred as MP Yehuda Glick, of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, toured the Haram al-Sharif mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Some Muslim worshippers yelled “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) as he left and he waved to them.

Jews are not allowed to publicly pray at the compound to avoid provoking tensions, but Glick admitted praying to himself as he walked the grounds in his bare feet.

He said he prayed for his wife, who he said was in a coma, as well as his family and Israel.

Asked afterwards whether such visits are provocations that risk more bloodshed, Glick told journalists “those who are responsible for terror are the terrorists and those who incite them, not the victims.”

At least one other Jewish lawmaker, Shuli Moalem-Refaeli of the far-right Jewish Home party, also visited on Tuesday morning, according to the Waqf, a Muslim religious organisation that administers the site.

Jewish lawmakers were allowed to visit in the morning while Muslim lawmakers were permitted to do so in the afternoon although they said they did not intend to do so.

Masud Ganaim, of the Joint List alliance, said allowing right-wing politicians into the compound had “the goal of provoking Arab and Muslim sentiment and inflaming the situation.”

Netanyahu instructed police in October 2015 to bar lawmakers from visiting the site in the Old City of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem which houses the Al-Aqsa mosque complex and the Dome of the Rock.

It was meant to help calm unrest that erupted in part over Palestinian fears that Israel was planning to assert further control over the compound.

Netanyahu has said repeatedly that he is committed to the status quo there.

Plans to allow a temporary lifting of the ban in July were put off after violence again erupted in and around the site.

Tuesday’s one-day lifting of the ban is intended as a test to see if calm can be maintained.

The site is the holiest in Judaism as the location of the two ancient Jewish temples and the third-holiest in Islam after Mecca and Medina.

It is central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Glick, a US-born rabbi, survived a 2014 assassination attempt by a Palestinian over his campaign for Jewish prayer rights at the site before he joined parliament.

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by Stephen Weizman

Israel arrests Islamic cleric for ‘incitement’

August 15, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Jordanian Islamists carry a portrait of Arab-Israeli cleric Raed Salah during a protest in Amman on July 21, 2017 against new Israeli security measures, since removed, at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqa mosque compound

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israeli police arrested a firebrand Islamic cleric on Tuesday who has been repeatedly accused of inciting violence over a sensitive Jerusalem holy site where tensions again flared last month.

Raed Salah, released from prison in January after serving a nine-month sentence, is accused of inciting violence and terrorism as well as support for and participation in an illegal organisation, police said.

His group, the radical northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was outlawed in 2015 after it was accused of inciting violence linked to  Jerusalem’s Haram al-Sharif mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Police said in Tuesday’s statement that Salah, an Arab Israeli, is accused of having publicly supported violent acts against the country on several occasions following the ban on his organisation.

It was not clear whether the accusations were linked to last month’s deadly unrest surrounding the holy site, which includes the revered Al-Aqsa mosque and the golden-topped Dome of the Rock.

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Violence erupted in and around the compound after three Arab Israelis shot dead two Israeli policemen on July 14.

Israel responded by installing metal detectors at the entrance to the complex, used as a staging point for the attack.

For nearly two weeks, worshippers refused to submit to the checks and staged mass prayers in surrounding streets.

Ensuing protests and clashes left seven Palestinians dead, while three Israelis were fatally stabbed by a Palestinian assailant.

The crisis abated when Israel removed the detectors.

Salah served a nine-month prison term after being convicted of fomenting violent protests over the holy site.

He was convicted of having incited violence in a 2007 speech. He was convicted in 2014 and his appeals were later denied.

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said in a statement following Salah’s Tuesday arrest that he hoped “this time justice will be done and he will be sent behind bars for a long time.”

The compound, central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is the third-holiest in Islam and the most sacred for Jews.

It is located in east Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in 1967 and later annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

Palestinians fear Israel will gradually seek to assert further control over it, though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said repeatedly he is committed to the status quo.

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Israel MP holds ‘protest’ office outside Jerusalem al-Aqsa Mosque

August 14, 2017

AFP

© AFP / by Jonah Mandel | Israeli rabbi and right-wing MP Yehuda Glick sets up a make-shift office outside a flashpoint Jerusalem site holy to Muslims and Jews on August 14, 2017 to protest a ban on lawmakers from entering it

JERUSALEM (AFP) – A rabbi and lawmaker from Israel’s ruling party held office hours Monday outside a sensitive Jerusalem holy site to protest a government ban on visits by MPs and ministers.

Yehuda Glick, who was shot in 2014 over his campaign for Jewish prayer rights at the Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as Temple Mount, said it was a one-day action.

“I’m here to protest the fact that the prime minister won’t enable police to allow us to enter the Temple Mount,” Glick told AFP.

“I suffer every day I can’t enter the Temple Mount,” he said, as he held court at one of the gates to the compound alongside a number of bodyguards.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had in October 2015 imposed the ban on visits by MPs and ministers to the flashpoint religious site in an effort to restore calm after an outbreak of violence.

The unrest was fuelled in part by fears among Palestinians that Israel was planning to assert further control over the compound in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

The site, which includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, is the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam, and it is central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Glick had in March petitioned the supreme court against Netanyahu’s ban.

The government decided in response to allow lawmakers to visit the compound for a “pilot number of days” in July, but an outbreak of violence there put off the plan.

– ‘We don’t want to harm Muslims’ –

Glick, a US-born rabbi, survived a 2014 assassination attempt by a Palestinian over his campaign for Jewish prayer rights at the site before he joined parliament as a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party.

Violence erupted in and around the site after three Arab Israelis shot dead two Israeli policemen on July 14.

Israel responded by installing metal detectors at the entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque complex, used as a staging point for the attack.

For nearly two weeks, worshippers refused to submit to the checks and staged mass prayers in surrounding streets.

Ensuing protests and clashes left seven Palestinians dead, while three Israelis were stabbed to death by a Palestinian assailant.

The crisis abated when Israel removed the detectors.

Jews are allowed to visit the compound but not pray there, and the site has been the scene of regular confrontation when they try to flout the rule.

Glick described the site as “the essence of my life.”

“There’s no reason in the world to think that my entering the Temple Mount will stir trouble,” he said.

“The Jewish god is inclusive… he wants to see the prayer of Muslims and Jews and Christians and Indonesians and Mexicans,” Glick said.

“We don’t want to harm the Muslims, on the contrary… when I see a Muslim praying at the Temple Mount it fills my heart with great joy. It shows me the fulfullment of the prophecies of our prophets.”

by Jonah Mandel

Palestinians Say Security Cooperation with Israel to Resume ‘Gradually’

July 29, 2017

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 Members of the Palestinian special police forces wait to compete during the 7th Annual International Warrior Competition hosted by the King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center (KASOTC), Sunday, April 19, 2015, Amman, Jordan. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)
 July 29, 2017, 2:52 pm
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Security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will gradually increase as long as Muslim access to the Temple Mount remains unrestricted, a senior Palestinian official told The Times of Israel on Saturday.

Last week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas suspended security coordination with Israel to protest the installation of metal detectors at entrances to the site, a move that sparked widespread protests and condemnation from the Muslim world.

The security cooperation between Israel and the PA, in place for years despite near-frozen diplomatic ties, is seen as critical for both Israel and Abbas’s Fatah faction to keep a lid on violence in the West Bank, particularly from the Hamas terror group.

The official praised Israel for removing security restrictions imposed at the Temple Mount in the wake of a deadly terror attack at the site earlier this month. He also praised the Shin Bet Security service and the IDF for their handling of the mounting tensions surrounding the Jerusalem holy site, and expressed hope the two sides were on the way to resuming working ties.

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 Palestinian Muslim worshipers attend the first Friday prayers of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan outside the Dome of the Rock at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on June 2, 2017. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

The fate of the Temple Mount is an emotional issue at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Even the smallest perceived change to delicate arrangements pertaining to the site sparks tensions.

Jews revere the hilltop compound as the Temple Mount, site of the two Jewish biblical temples. 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.

But the walled compound is also home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, which is Islam’s third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. Muslims believe the site marks the spot where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/security-cooperation-with-israel-to-resume-gradually-pa-official-says/

Arab League chief says Israel risks igniting ‘religious war’

July 27, 2017

AFP

© AFP | Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abul-Gheit (L) said of Israel “Handling holy sites lightly and with this level of arrogance seriously threatens to ignite a religious war” around the Al-Aqsa mosque compound issue

CAIRO (AFP) – The head of the Arab League warned Thursday that Israeli attempts to control highly sensitive religious sites in Jerusalem by force risk igniting a “religious war”.Israel’s actions are “playing with fire, and will only ignite a religious war and shift the core of the conflict from politics to religion,” Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit said.

He was speaking at an urgent meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo on the latest violence in Jerusalem.

“I invite the occupying state (Israel) to carefully learn the lessons from this crisis and the message it holds,” Abul Gheit said in a televised speech.

“Handling holy sites lightly and with this level of arrogance seriously threatens to ignite a religious war, since not one single Muslim in the world would accept the desecration of Al-Aqsa mosque,” he said.

Protests and deadly unrest have erupted in the days since Israel installed new metal detectors on July 16 outside the entrance to the desecration Haram al-Sharif  compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Palestinians view the move as an attempt by Israel to assert further control over the site, which houses the revered Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Israeli police and Palestinians clashed Thursday as thousands of Muslim worshippers entered the compound, ending a boycott after Israel removed the new security measures installed after a July 14 attack killed two policemen.

“Challenges and dangers facing Jerusalem especially, and Palestine generally, are bigger than ever because of the increasing, illegal occupation measures implemented by the occupying force,” said Palestinian foreign minister Riad al-Malki.

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Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers at Temple Mount.

Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers and newly installed metal detectors at an entrance to the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City July 16, 2017. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Inspecting a body on Friday near what Jews call the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The area, home to the complex of Al Aqsa Mosque, is Jerusalem’s holiest site for both faiths. This photo from just after the killing of Israelis on July 14, 2017. Credit Ammar Awad/Reuters

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The Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem.(Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Netanyahu wants execution of Palestinian who stabbed to death 3 Israelis — Talks about the death penalty for terrorists

July 27, 2017

AFP

© AFP | Israeli forensic police on July 22, 2017 inspect a home where a Palestinian broke in the day before and stabbed four Israelis, killing three of them, in the Jewish settlement Neve Tsuf in the occupied West Bank

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday called for the execution of a Palestinian who stabbed to death three Israelis last week as tensions rose over new security measures at a Jerusalem holy site.”The death penalty for terrorists ” – “it’s time to implement it in severe cases,” he said while speaking with family members of the victims, a video of which was posted on Netanyahu’s Twitter account.

“It’s anchored in the law. You need the judges to rule unanimously on it, but if you want to know the government’s position and my position as prime minister – in a case like this, of a base murderer like this?” —  “He should be executed. He should simply not smile anymore.”

A 19-year-old Palestinian broke into a home in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank on July 21 and stabbed four Israelis during a Sabbath dinner, killing three of them.

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An Israel family of three was attacked and killed in their home while eating dinner in Halamish, Israel, July 21, 2017. (photo credit IDFWO)

He was shot and wounded by a neighbour, an off-duty soldier.

The stabbings came after a day of protests and clashes over new Israeli security measures at Jerusalem’s Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, installed after a July 14 attack nearby killed two policemen.

Five Palestinians were killed in clashes on July 21 and 22.

Israel removed the last of the new security measures on Thursday and Palestinians ended a boycott of the site, which includes Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Clashes erupted between Israeli police and Palestinians as thousands of worshippers entered the compound on Thursday for the first time in two weeks.

Because the stabbings of the Israelis occurred in the West Bank, a military court would have jurisdiction under Israeli law.

Three military judges must unanimously approve any death penalty in military courts.

Israel has not carried out any executions since 1962.

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Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers at Temple Mount.

Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers and newly installed metal detectors at an entrance to the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City July 16, 2017. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Inspecting a body on Friday near what Jews call the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The area, home to the complex of Al Aqsa Mosque, is Jerusalem’s holiest site for both faiths. This photo from just after the killing of Israelis on July 14, 2017. Credit Ammar Awad/Reuters

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The Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem.(Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Muslims enter Jerusalem holy site for first time in two weeks

July 27, 2017

AFP

© AFP | A Palestinian Muslim performs a prayer in gratitude to God near the Dome of the Rock in the Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, in the Old City of Jerusalem on July 27, 2017, as Palestinians ended an almost two-week boycott

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Palestinians ended a boycott and entered a sensitive Jerusalem holy site for the first time in two weeks Thursday after Israel removed controversial security measures there, potentially ending a crisis that sparked deadly unrest.

AFP journalists saw thousands of worshippers streaming into the Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, for afternoon prayers. The site includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Some cried as they entered while others shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest).

A last-minute confrontation threatened to derail the planned end of the boycott as Israeli police were keeping one of the gates leading to the holy site closed.

The gate is where two Israeli policemen were killed on July 14, prompting the new security measures.

Police later opened the gate and Palestinians stuck to their plan to end the boycott.

A tense standoff had been underway between Israel and Muslim worshippers at the holy site despite the removal of metal detectors on Tuesday.

Newly installed railings and scaffolding where cameras were previously mounted were also cleared early Thursday, after which police said all new security measures had now been removed.

Muslims had refused to enter the compound and prayed in the streets outside after Israel installed the new security measures.

Palestinians viewed the move as Israel asserting further control.

In response to the removal of the security measures, Muslim authorities called on worshippers to return.

Israeli authorities said the metal detectors were needed because the July 14 attackers smuggled guns into the compound and emerged from it to attack the officers.

Deadly unrest erupted in the days after the new measures were introduced, with clashes breaking out around the compound and in the occupied West Bank, leaving five Palestinians dead.

A Palestinian also broke into a home in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank last week and stabbed four Israelis, killing three of them.

Muslim cleric wants cameras removed from shrine

July 26, 2017

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on the escalation in Israel and the Palestinian territories over a contested Jerusalem holy site (all times local):

10:15 a.m.

A senior Muslim official in Jerusalem says worshippers won’t return to a contested shrine until Israel removes new railings and cameras it installed after a deadly attack there.

Ikrema Sabri says Wednesday that even after Israel removed metal detectors more steps were required. He says mass prayer protests would continue outside the site until the gates of the compound were opened and the metal railings and an iron bridge with cameras on it were removed.

Image result for Ekrima Sa'id Sabri, photos

Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Sabri — Former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine

Sabri, the head of the Supreme Islamic Committee, says a lawyer on behalf of the Muslim administration of the holy site will be in touch with Israeli police to demand the changes.

Israel installed new security measures after Arab gunmen shot and killed two police officers from within the site. Under international pressure, Israel removed the metal detectors.

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9:30 a.m.

Muslim worshippers have once again held their morning prayers outside Jerusalem’s most contested holy site despite Israel’s removal of the metal detectors that sparked the protest.

Wednesday’s prayers came a day after Israel seemingly capitulated to the demands of protesters. But Muslim religious leaders have called for prayers to continue outside until delicate arrangements at the site, holy to both Jews and Muslims, return to what they were before Israel installed new security measures. Those measures came after Arab gunmen shot and killed two police officers from within the site.

Israel says the measures are necessary to prevent further attacks while Palestinians claim Israel is trying to expand its control.

Israel decided to remove the metal detectors it installed. It says it plans to install new security cameras instead.

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