Settlers raid al-Aqsa compound under Israeli forces protection

Knesset backs bill preventing division of Jerusalem

Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli police near the Mosque of al-Aqsa in Jerusalem's Old City, the site Jews call the Temple Mount.

A police spokesperson said in a statement that site is opened for women of all ages and for men over the age of 50.

On Friday the Palestinian Health Ministry said Mohammed Sharaf, 17, and Mohammad Hassan Abu Ghannam, age unknown, died of gunshot wounds in two neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem somewhat away from the epicentre of tension in the walled Old City.

Israeli authorities closed down the Al-Aqsa compound and canceled weekly Friday prayers for the first time in almost five decades, following a shootout last week that left three Palestinians and two Israeli policemen dead near the flashpoint holy site in East Jerusalem.

Thousands of Muslims had prayed in the streets surrounding the holy site known as Temple Mount by Jews and Haram al-Sharif by Muslims in the Old City.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly meeting with ministers to discuss removing from the site new metal detectors that have enraged Palestinians.

Police also cited intelligence information indicating that "extremist elements" were planning "to cause violent disruptions to the public order, and thereby to threaten the public peace, including the [safety] of those coming to pray at the holy sites and other residents of the area".

The mosque is located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City. The participants of the conference called on the global community to respect the status quo by pressuring Israel government and called for removal of the metal detectors.

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Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations special coordinator for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, called for calm.

Muslim leaders had urged worshippers not to enter the sacred compound until Israel removes the detectors, portraying Israel's measures as an encroachment on Muslim rights.

In the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian militant group Hamas called for a day of "rage" on Friday.

The compound houses the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque, and is the third holiest site in Islam.

Israel initially closed the site after the attack last Friday as it searched for further weapons.

Hatem Abdel-Kader, the Palestinian Authority's chief negotiator, was one of several officials arrested by Israel this morning, according to Middle East Eye, though reason for his arrest was not given.

The attack is the latest manifestation of growing tensions over the Temple Mount since the Israeli Arab terrorist attack.

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