Israeli authorities have reopened the Noble Sanctuary upon which the al-Aqsa Mosque is situated after closing the area to worshippers and pilgrims for the first time in two decades.
The closure came after two Israeli policemen were killed by three Arab-Israeli citizens. The three Arab-Israelis were subsequently shot dead.
The reopening of the Noble Sanctuary complete with vast security barriers and checkpoints has angered locals who worship at the ancient holy site.
Protests broke out as worshippers shouted,
“God is great!” and “Al-Aqsa belongs to the Muslims!”
Next to the new magnetometers near TM, Muslim are calling to liberate alAqsa "with blood and spirit" pic.twitter.com/2uJ4JizbPs
— Udi Shaham (@udi_shaham) July 16, 2017
Taleb Abu, an Arab political leader in Israel stated that “fanning the flames, and I see Israel as only the responsible cause of this situation”.
“It’s far more than breaching the status quo. The Israeli government is defiling the mosques. They took advantage of the situation to impose a complete control over the compound”.
It is unclear if Israel intends to calm the situation by returning to the established status quo around the al-Aqsa Mosque. Tensions are expected to run high in the meantime.