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News > Palestine

Israel Reopens Al-Aqsa Mosque After Closing it Post-Clashes

  • Israeli police officers detain a Palestinian protestor during scuffles outside the compound housing al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City March 12, 2019.

    Israeli police officers detain a Palestinian protestor during scuffles outside the compound housing al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City March 12, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 March 2019

Israeli authorities reopened Al-Aqsa mosque Wednesday after being closed for a day due to clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops. 

The Al-Aqsa Mosque was reopened Wednesday morning after Israeli police closed it Tuesday post-clashes with Palestinians.


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According to Israeli authorities, Palestinians threw a firebomb at an Israeli police post at the mosque site resulting in clashes. Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian witnesses said the fire was caused by children playing with firecrackers. No injuries were reported.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned what he called "the grave Israeli escalation" at the complex, which houses Al-Aqsa mosque, Islam's third holiest site.

According to Palestinians, the growing tensions around the Al-Aqsa Mosque is a sign of arbitrary policies of Israel against the occupied country.

"The prevention of the congregation, which wanted to pray in Al-Aqsa, Judaisation, occupation, destruction, and deportation of the capital [Jerusalem], will not affect the determination of our people to remain loyal to the resistance and the land," Fatah movement spokesperson Atef Abu Saif said.

Jordanian Minister of Islamic Affairs and Holy Sites Abdul Nasser Abu Basal described the barring of Muslim worshippers from the site as "a flagrant assault on all religious values, rights and freedom," and "an attack on all Muslims that touches the entire Islamic nation."

"We cannot accept such reckless attacks on holy sites and the whole world needs to react against it," the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

"Places of worship are for prayer, not for provocations and violence," Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nation's envoy for Middle East peace wrote on Twitter.

Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump angered most of the Muslim world when he recognized the whole city of Jerusalme as the capital of Israel, ending decades of Washington’s policy stating that the status of the city must be decided as part of a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, a position that most of the international community continues to fully support.

In the 1967 war Israel took over the eastern part of the city as well as the West Bank from Jordan. In 1980, Israel annexed East Jerusalem and declared the whole city as its capital, a move that was rejected by most countries in the world.

The western side of the city is part of the widely-accepted territory of the state of Israel which was founded in 1948 after the end of the British Mandate for Palestine, resulting in the displacement of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and villages. The Palestinian leadership and most of the international community consider East Jerusalem as occupied territory and the future capital of a sovereign Palestinian state.

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