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Thursday, October 30, 2014, Kartik 15, 1421, Muharram 5, 1436 Hijr


Israel closes Al-Aqsa Mosque for first time since 1967
Observer Online Desk
Publish Date : 2014-10-30,  Publish Time : 21:53,  View Count : 17
JERUSALEM: The Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem has been closed to all worshipers for the first time since 1967. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas called the closure a 'declaration of war.'

Both Jewish and Muslim worshipers will be prohibited from visiting the site "until further notice," Israel's public security minister said. Following the announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered "a significant hike" in the number of police forces patrolling Jerusalem, Naharnet daily reports.

Palestinian authorities quickly responded to the move, saying it was a "dangerous and blatant challenge" that would lead to more tension and instability in an already volatile situation.

This dangerous Israeli escalation is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and its sacred places and on the Arab and Islamic nation," Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina quoted him as saying.

"We hold the Israeli government responsible for this dangerous escalation in Jerusalem that has reached its peak through the closure of the Al-Aqsa mosque this morning," he told AFP.

He added that the state of Palestinian would employ all legal means to "hold Israel accountable" and put an end to "these ongoing attacks."

The closure of Al-Aqsa, Islam's third holiest site, followed the shooting of a right-wing Jewish activist, Yehuda Glick, on Wednesday. Glick had advocated for greater Jewish access to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism where Al-Aqsa sits, along with the much revered Dome of the Rock.

RT/ZA





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