Clashes in Jerusalem leave three dead

Palestinian and Muslim religious leaders have called on worshippers not to enter the compound through the metal detectors, and hundreds have been holding prayers outside the site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, with clashes occasionally breaking out.

Troops set up checkpoints on the highways leading to Jerusalem and closed other roads to vehicles and set up roadblocks in the Old City's alleyways and roads leading to the Lion's Gate (Bab al-Asbat), only allowing those over 50 or women any age to enter the Old City.

The site reopened on Sunday, but with metal detectors and cameras at entrances, prompting a Palestinian boycott over Israeli efforts to expand their control over the sensitive site.

On Friday though, a number of worshippers went into the site to pray.

It came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet chose to keep the detectors in place.

But after consultations with security chiefs and members of his security cabinet, Netanyahu decided not to order them removed.

Israeli police said the weapons were smuggled into the holy site which was then used as the launchpad for the attack.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas has called for mass protests on Friday against Israeli metal detectors placed at a contested Jerusalem holy site.

'The Israeli offer to keep the metal detectors in place, but only require suspicious individuals to pass through them, was unreservedly rejected by the Palestinians, ' he said.

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"Israel is committed to maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount and the freedom of access to the holy sites", the official said in a statement.

"Where are you, nation of a billion, while prayer is being prevented at Al-Aqsa?"

According to Wafa news agency, Abbas discussed the situation with US President Donald Trump's top adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, urging Washington to intervene in the situation immediately and to compel Israel to remove the metal detectors.

According to a report on Al Jazeera, the Palestinian Prisoner's Club has claimed that Jerusalem's Fatah leader, Hatem Abdel Khader, is among ten Palestinian activist who have been detained.

Israel installed the detectors after three Palestinians launched an attack from the shrine a week ago, killing two Israeli policemen.

"We reject Israeli restrictions at the Aqsa Mosque", said Jerusalem's senior Muslim cleric, Grand Mufti Mohammad Hussein.

Thousands of Israeli soldiers and troops were deployed in eastern Jerusalem following riots Thursday, which resumed Friday afternoon, Israel's Channel 2 reported.

The violence had greatly subsided in recent months, but the attack on July 14 that killed two Israeli policemen has boosted tensions.

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