Muslim protest continues as Israel reopens Jerusalem's al-Aqsa compound

Israeli security forces gather at the scene of the car-ramming attack near Kiryat Arba Tuesday

Israeli authorities were to reopen an ultra-sensitive holy site Sunday closed after an attack that killed two policemen, but new security measures including metal detectors and cameras were being put in place.

Tensions have soared since Friday.

The imam has just finished leading the night prayer when Israeli police attempted to disperse worshippers by force, leaving many injured, some seriously, according to the Palestine's Red Crescent Society.

At least four paramedics were injured, and 15 others were hit by rubber bullets, the charity said. Israeli officials said they were a permanent measure but many worshipers refused to go through them and preferred to pray outside the compound. Israel's Shin Bet security service, which closely monitors Palestinian society, reportedly opposes the metal detectors as counterproductive, while police support the new measures.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman spoke with senior U.S. officials seeking to pressure Israel to reopen of the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, according to Arabic news site Elaph. It follows days of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police near the site, which is holy to both Jews and Muslims.

Omar Kiswani, director of al-Aqsa Mosque, told reporters outside the site that "the closure, the occupation, and the prevention of the call for prayers are all unfair and unjust and constitute a violation of the United Nations resolutions and the worldwide agreements".

The Waqf, Jordan's Islamic Trust, which manages religious affairs at the site, has been boycotting the Temple Mount, refusing to adhere to new security procedures introduced by the Israeli police following Friday's attack.

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In a statement, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that Israeli forces removed worshippers at Lions' Gate for allegedly blocking the street while performing prayers.

Israel blames the violence on incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders compounded on social media sites that glorify violence and encourage attacks.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam after the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. Despite the fact that the custodianship of the mosque is in the hands of the Jordanian government, Israeli leaders have insisted on the right to install metal detectors.

"We will not enter through these metal detectors", he added.

According to a statement issued by the group, Israeli security forces made "unilateral decisions" about access to the compound without the participation of the Waqf, establishing "a clear change to the status quo". Police said some protesters hurled stones and bottles at officers after holding evening prayers outside the gates of the compound, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif.

The Grand Mufti said the Israeli authorities were working to change the status quo in Al-Aqsa Mosque.

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