31 Oct 2014

Outrage over holy site closure

11:27 pm on 31 October 2014

The Israeli authorities have reopened the Al-Aqsa mosque in east Jerusalem after closing it after the wounding of the right-wing Jewish activist and the killing of the Palestinian man police had accused of shooting him.

The compound - known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif - is the holiest site in Judaism, and contains the al-Aqsa Mosque - the third holiest site in Islam.

It was reopened ahead of Muslim Friday prayers, but with entry restricted to those over 50 amid fears of unrest after Friday prayers, the BBC reports.

A spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had described the closure of the mosque as tantamount to a declaration of war.

Earlier, Israeli security forces also restricted mourners at the burial ceremony of the Palestinian man who was killed by the police after being accused of shooting the outspoken Jewish activist, Yehuda Glick.

Palestinian youths clashed with police in East Jerusalem.

Palestinian youths clashed with police in East Jerusalem. Photo: AFP

Rabbi Glic, a campaigner for more Jewish prayer rights at the Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif, was wounded and remains on life support.

Palestinian Moataz Hejazi, 32, was shot after opening fire when police surrounded his home.

Mr Hejazi's cousin alleges that he was shot by police after being detained within his house. Israeli police say Mr Hejazi was killed after he began shooting at police who then opened fire in response.

Angry crowds gathered in Arab East Jerusalem near Hejazi's home as news spread that he had been shot.

Police used tear gas and rubber bullets against stone-throwing youths.

There was also a small demonstration by far-right Israelis outside the holy site, with several arrested for attempting to enter it.

Palestinians hold the Israeli government responsible for a "dangerous act", Mr Abbas was quoted as saying by spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeina, AFP reports.