Israel reopens Temple Mount after Friday shootings

Israel reopens Temple Mount after Friday shootings

A heartbreaking photograph emerged Friday of Israeli police Master Sgt. Haiel Sitawe - one of the two cops killed in a terror attack in Jerusalem - cradling his 3-week-old son, Ramos.

But employees of the Jordan-based Waqf authority, which oversees the site, protested against demands they also go through the security controls.

Israel reopened an ultra-sensitive holy site 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.

An Israeli police officer checks the identity of a Palestinian man next to newly installed metal detectors at an entrance to the Harm Al-Sharif compound that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Dozens of worshippers gathered to pray in front of the Lions' Gate entrance to the compound.

In the past two years, Palestinians have killed 45 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British tourist in stabbings, shootings and attacks using cars to ram into Israeli civilians and troops. A body could be seen on the ground near the Al-Aqsa mosque at the site in Jerusalem's Old City.

"It is a particular desecration to carry out armed attacks in and around sites holy to Muslims and Jews in a city that is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims", they said in a statement.

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Gaza, ( Qatar strongly condemned on Friday the Israeli decision to ban Friday prayer at al-Aqsa Mosque for the first time since 1969.

The Muslim religious authority charged with managing the Temple Mount joined with other Islamic groups on Monday to call on Muslims "to reject and boycott all the Israeli aggression measures, including changing the historical status quo including imposing the metal detectors".

He accused Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of wanting "to turn the conflict from a political conflict to a religious one and this is why he sponsors provocative entry by settlers to the compound of the mosque".

In a statement, Hamas stressed the need for an urgent action regarding the Israeli aggressions on al-Aqsa Mosque and crack down on the Muslim worshipers, Al waght reported.

It is located in East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since the 1967 Middle East war. Non-Muslims are allowed to visit the site, but are not allowed to pray.

There was no immediate comment from Palestinian officials.