The Latest: Palestinians, Israeli police clash in Jerusalem
Jul. 20, 2017
JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on the dispute over increased Israeli security measures at a Jerusalem holy site imposed after Palestinian gunmen killed two policemen there (all times local):
Clashes have erupted between Palestinians protesters and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem's Old City after thousands of Muslim worshippers gathered around a contested holy site for evening prayers.
Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri says Palestinians threw rocks and glass bottles at the officers following prayers on Thursday. Police responded with tear gas.
She says no one was hurt, but the Palestinian Red Crescent says it treated 22 injured.
The skirmishes came ahead of Friday prayers, when tens of thousands of Muslim worshippers are expected to visit the site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and Jews as the Temple Mount.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly meeting with ministers to discuss removing from the site new metal detectors that have enraged Palestinians. They were installed last Sunday, after three Arab Israeli gunmen killed two Israeli police officers there.
Turkey's president has called on Israel to remove metal detectors from the gates of a contested Jerusalem holy site.
Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to Israel's Reuven Rivlin on Thursday, ahead of planned mass protests on Friday by Muslim worshippers over security measures imposed by Israel at the walled shrine.
Israel installed metal detectors at the site after Palestinian gunmen killed two Israeli policemen there last week.
Rivlin's office says he assured Erdogan that Israel would "maintain the status quo" at the shrine, addressing Muslim fears that Israel wants to expand its role there.
Rivlin called last week's attack "intolerable."
Officials in Erdogan's office say he told Rivlin that violence wasn't acceptable. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
—Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey;
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin's office says he will speak with his Turkish counterpart to try to defuse rising tensions with the Palestinians over a contested Jerusalem shrine.
The conversation between Rivlin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set for later Thursday, a day before planned mass protests by Muslim worshippers.
The walled shrine in Jerusalem's Old City, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount, is at the heart of the decades-old Mideast conflict.
Israel initially closed the site after Palestinian gunmen killed two Israeli police there last week. The compound was reopened Sunday, with new metal detectors installed.
The Palestinians have protested the new security measures, which they say are intended to expand Israel's control over the site.
Israel insists it has no intention of changing the status quo, and says metal detectors are widely used to secure holy sites around the world.
The Palestinian militant group Hamas has called for mass protests on Friday against Israeli metal detectors placed at a contested Jerusalem holy site.
In a televised speech Thursday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh urged Palestinians to participate in a "day of rage" against the stepped up security measures, which were imposed after Palestinian gunmen killed two Israeli police at the site last week.
Israel initially closed the site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount. The compound, which houses the Al-Aqsa mosque, was reopened Sunday with metal detectors installed, a step Palestinians protest as a change to the longstanding status quo.
Haniyeh says "al-Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem are a red line," and that "the closure and punitive measures on Jerusalemites and sanctuaries will not be allowed."
The Israeli military says it has shot and killed a Palestinian attacker who tried to stab soldiers at a West Bank checkpoint.
The military says the attacker, a 26-year-old, attempted the stabbing near the West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday.
In the past two years, Palestinians have killed 45 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British tourist in stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks. During that period, Israeli forces have killed more than 255 Palestinians, most of them said by Israel to be attackers while others were killed in clashes with Israeli forces.
Israel blames the violence on incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders to commit attacks. Palestinians say the attacks stem from anger over decades of Israeli occupation of territories they claim for their future state.
Israel's public security minister says metal detectors are essential to maintain security at a contested Jerusalem shrine despite rising tensions and a Muslim call for mass protests in the city.
Gilad Erdan tells Israel's Army Radio on Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will rule on the issue later in the day when he returns from a working visit to Europe. But Erdan insisted the new Israeli measures did not change the status of the site and were necessary to carry out proper security checks.
Conflicts over the holy site — known as the Temple Mount to Jews and Noble Sanctuary to Muslims — have repeatedly triggered Israeli-Palestinian confrontations. Three Arab gunmen launched an attack from there last week, killing two Israeli policemen. In response, Israel began installing metal detectors.