Muslims protest Israeli aggression at Al-Aqsa

A Palestinian youth is detained by an Israeli border police officer during scuffles that erupted after Palestinians held prayers just outside Jerusalem’s Old City in protest over the installation of metal detectors placed at an entrance to Haram Al-Sharif which houses Al-Aqsa Mosque. — Reuters

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Islamic leaders called on Muslims on Monday to boycott a occupied Jerusalem holy site in protest after Israel set up metal detectors at the site’s entrance gates following an exchange of deadly gunfire last week.

For the first time in decades, Israel closed the Haram Al-Sharif which houses Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israel reopened the compound to Muslim worshipers on Sunday after imposing new security measures, including metal detectors at the entrance gates and additional security cameras.

The Waqf, Jordan’s Islamic authority that manages religious affairs at the site, was outraged over the metal detectors. Dozens of worshipers have prayed on the streets near the gate after refusing to enter via the metal detectors. Minor scuffles broke out there on Sunday as some Muslim worshipers tried to stop others from using the gates, Israeli media reported.

The Waqf, together with other Islamic groups, issued a statement Monday calling on Muslims “to reject and boycott all the Israeli aggression measures, including changing the historical status quo including imposing the metal detectors.”

They called on the faithful “not to deal with it at all and not to enter the mosque through it at all.”

The statement further said that “if the metal detectors continue to be imposed, we call upon the people to pray in front of the gates of the mosque and in the streets of Jerusalem.”

Jordan called for its immediate reopening and there were protests in the streets there against Israel.

Israel did not coordinate the changes with Jordan, which serves as the custodian of the Muslim-administered site, according to a Jordanian government official. Jordan’s stance is that anything installed at the site must be approved by the Waqf, or Muslim administration, and cannot change the status quo, said the official. — AP