Israel reopens Jerusalem holy site after shooting


July 17, 2017
Israeli border police officers stand guard as Muslim men pray outside the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, in Jerusalem on Sunday. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)


Hundreds of Muslim worshippers visited a Jerusalem holy site yesterday after Israel reopened the compound following a deadly shooting last week that raised concerns about wider unrest.

For the first time in decades, Israel closed the site known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount on Friday after three Arab citizens of Israel opened fire from the sacred site with automatic weapons, killing two police officers. The three were later shot dead inside the compound.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that following consultations with security officials the site would be reopened Sunday afternoon with increased security measures that included metal detectors at the entrance gates and additional security cameras.

At noon, Israeli police opened two of the gates to the compound to allow worshippers to enter through the newly erected detectors.

Police said some worshippers refused to go through them and knelt to pray outside instead.