Clashes Erupt on Temple Mount as Palestinians Attempt to Enter With Casket

The confrontation came just two days after an attack that killed two Israeli policemen at the site ■ One person arrested

Muslim worshipers outside the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, July 16, 2017.
Emil Salman

Disturbances erupted outside the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem on Sunday after a group of Palestinians attempted to enter the compound with a casket containing a body. Israeli security forces prevented them from entering.

Police said one person was arrested and Palestinian reports said several people were wounded during the clashes.

Israeli authorities had closed access to the compound in the wake of a deadly shooting there on Friday that killed two Israeli policemen. Police sought to reopen the Temple Mount on Sunday afternoon but the Waqf, the Muslim authority that administers the site, refused to unlock the gates in protest at metal detectors installed there on Sunday morning.

Police say hundreds of worshipers entered Temple Mount despite Waqf calls against entry.

Palestinians argue to Israeli security forces as they try to carry a casket into the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, July 16, 2017.
AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS

Waqf officials claimed that the metal detectors, which were installed at two gates to the compound on Sunday morning, are a violation of the status quo at the site, which is holy to both Jews and Muslims. Access to Jerusalem's entire Old City was allowed on Sunday only to tourists, as well as Jews and Palestinians who live in the Old City. Most of the stores in the Muslim Quarter were closed, as were many of the stores in the main business district of East Jerusalem.

According to the police, they planned initially to open only two of the Temple Mount's nine gates to Muslim visitors, and only Palestinian residents of Jerusalem would be allowed to enter. Despite earlier plans, the police said Jews will not be allowed on the Mount at all on Sunday.