Israel shuts Jerusalem holy site after unrest

Jordan condemns Israeli assaults on Al Aqsa worshippers

Jordan condemns Israeli assaults on Al Aqsa worshippers

Scuffles broke out at the complex between Israeli police and Palestinians.

During the searches, the police said they found several containers of flammable materials, firecrackers and Molotov cocktails.

The hilltop compound, known as the Temple Mount to Jews and as Haram al-Sharif to Muslims, is central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Three people were arrested, police said, amid clashes between police officers and worshippers.

A fire rages in a police post on Jerusalem's Temple Mount after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at it on March 12, 2019.

The Jerusalem police commander subsequently ordered the Mount closed to allow for searches to be carried out. At least one entrance to Jerusalem's Old City has also been blocked.

Abbas denounced the "dangerous Israeli escalation" and warned of "serious repercussions".

Israeli security forces in Jerusalem's Old City.

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"We call on the global community to intervene urgently in order to prevent the escalation ... we are holding urgent talks with all relevant parties, particularly with Jordan, in order to put pressure on Israeli government to put a stop to this risky escalation", the statement issued by Abbas's office said. "Police will respond with strength and determination to any act of violence or attempt to harm Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount". The gate had been closed by Israel in 2003 because it said that a Hamas-linked organization had taken control of the site and was acting against the interests of the Jewish State. Worshipers have forced the area open and entered on several occasions.

Israel and Jordan are believed to be holding discussions to resolve the issue.

On Tuesday, an incendiary device set alight an Israeli police position near the Dome of the Rock shrine inside the compound.

Mustafa Barghouthi, leader of the Palestinian National Initiative movement, also condemned the Israeli attacks on the Palestinian worshippers.

Jordan has offered that the site be closed for long-term renovations.

Haaretz reports that Israeli officials are working with Jordan to calm tensions.

"Places of worship are for prayer, not for provocations and violence", he wrote on Twitter.

The Waqf has repeatedly challenged the closure, convening and staging prayer-protests in the area, which often erupted into clashes with police.

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