Clashes erupt in Jerusalem over access to contested shrine

by 9:30 AM 0 comments
Palestinian worshippers and Israeli police clashed Friday outside Jerusalem’s Old City over restricted access to a contested shrine.
  Police said Palestinians threw stones at officers and they retaliated by throwing stun grenades to disperse protesters.
 Both sides reported minor injuries.
  Tensions between Israel and Muslim worshippers have been rising for weeks over Israeli authorities` decision to bar entry to the area to Muslim men under the age of 50 for Friday prayers.
The restrictions do not apply to area residents.
The clashes Friday erupted amid Palestinian protests over the installation of metal detectors at the holy site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.
 The compound houses the Al Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques.
The metal detectors were installed earlier this week after a deadly Palestinian attack at the shrine left two Israeli policeman dead.
  Tens of thousands of worshippers typically descend on the area for prayers.
Police said just a few hundred showed up Friday.
  Muslim religious leaders allege the metal detectors are part of an Israeli attempt to expand its control over the Muslim-administered site, a claim Israel denies.
In recent days, thousands have prayed in the streets near Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City in the evenings, with smaller numbers then clashing with police.
READ MORE: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked the United States to "intervene urgently" and compel Israel to remove the metal detectors, said Nabil Abu Rdeneh, an adviser to the president, according to the Associated Press.
  Abbas discussed the growing tensions in Jerusalem in a phone call with President Trump’s top adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, Abu Rdeneh said.
Abbas told Kushner that the situation is "extremely dangerous and may go out of control" unless Israel removes the metal detectors, the AP reported.
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