High Court orders police to return bodies of Temple Mount attackers

Erdo─čan, Macron voice concern over Israeli restrictions on Al-Aqsa mosque

The violence left four Palestinians dead in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, while three Israeli civilians were stabbed to death by a Palestinian who had said he was avenging Israeli measures at the holy site.

The security cameras are in addition to metal detectors placed last week at the Lion's Gate entrance to the site, known as the Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims.

Six Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops in clashes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank and hundreds injured since Israel attacked worshippers outside Al-Aqsa following Friday prayers.

In a sign unrest was spreading, a Palestinian stabbed three Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank on Friday after vowing on Facebook to take up his knife and heed "al Aqsa's call".

The spike in tensions, and the deaths of three Israelis and four Palestinians in violence on Friday and Saturday, have triggered global alarm and prompted the UN Security Council to convene a meeting for Monday to seek ways of calming the situation.

Tensions have been high since Israel set up new measures after Arab gunmen earlier this month opened fire from the site, killing two Israeli policemen.

Sabri says newly installed security cameras, described in media reports as a possible alternative to the metal detectors, were discussed.

A statement issued by the office of the European Union foreign policy chief also fails to explicitly condemn Israeli killings of Palestinians, merely calling for an "investigation" of the deaths of the three protesters shot dead on Friday.

"Jerusalem is a city whose government is committed to security, freedom, freedom of worship and respect for the rights of all minorities", the Israeli statement said. Jews revere the esplanade as the site of their destroyed biblical Temples, and the holiest site in their religion.

In Jerusalem, Israeli police said they used riot gear to disperse dozens of Palestinians who threw stones and bottles at them. They are anxious that the metal detectors will stop them from smuggling knives and firearms into the Temple Mount.

Israel's Ambassador Danny Danon told reporters that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was working to calm the situation, but asserted that "we will do whatever is necessary to maintain security".

Cleric Ikrema Sabri said on Monday that a lawyer for the Muslim leadership met Sunday with Jerusalem police chief Yoram Halevi, and heard a response to Muslim demands.

Jordan's ruling Hashemite dynasty, said to trace its ancestry back to Prophet Muhammad, draws much of its legitimacy from the role of protector of the site, which houses the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosques.

The king stressed the need to "remove the measures taken by the Israeli side since the recent crisis broke out" and to agree on steps that would prevent another escalation in the future, Petra said.

- New decisions about security measures in the Old City could be made at a Sunday night Israeli security cabinet meeting.

The site is hugely politically sensitive and has been subject to a delicate set of arrangements - commonly referred to as the "status quo" - governing access, security and administration, for the past 50 years.

The area, in East Jerusalem, has been under Israeli occupation since the 1967 Middle East war. Palestinian leaders and officials the Waqf (a religious trust that manages the Temple Mount compound) were the ones who urged Muslim worshippers to stay away from the Temple Mount and hold prayers in the streets and public squares in protest against the metal detectors.

He also called on Israel not to deepen the conflict and urged the global community to "oblige the Israeli government to maintain the status quo" as its current policies "hurt the feelings" of all the Muslim world, not only the Palestinians.



Other news