Clashes in Jerusalem after Israeli authorities close off Al-Aqsa mosque

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Clashes in Jerusalem after Israeli authorities close off Al-Aqsa mosque

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Violence has escalated in Jerusalem after Israeli authorities closed the Al-Aqsa mosque to all worshippers for the first time since 1967.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas called the move a “declaration of war.”

The closure of the mosque which is Islam’s third holiest site follows the shooting of a right-wing Jewish activist, Yehuda Glick, on Wednesday.

American born Glick and other far-right Israelis want Jews to be allowed to pray inside the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, which sits alongside the Jewish Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount, a holy site for both Jews and Muslims.

Israeli law currently bans Jews from praying there.

The Al-Aqsa has been managed by the Muslim community since the crusades and the its location in the Old City in Jerusalem is recognised by the United Nations as occupied territory.

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas was to blame for inciting the violence after the Palestinian leader said Jews must be prevented from going up to the Temple Mount.

“The international community needs to stop its hypocrisy and take action against inciters, against those who try to change the status quo,“declared Netanyahu.

The Palestinian Social Affairs Minister, Shawki Aleessa, accused Israel of deliberately provoking violence.

“What’s happening in Jerusalem now, of course will get a reaction from the victims. They understand that and they want to escalate more. We believe that the only way is to implement the international law, end the occupation, this will solve the problem because we have to address the root of the problem.”

Israeli police later shot dead a 32-year-old Palestinian man suspected of having tried to kill Glick.

There are now fears of a new Palestinian uprising following the outbreak of clashes.