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Dozens injured in fresh clashes in East Jerusalem over al-Aqsa Mosque
BY 2017-07-21 09:59:37

JERUSALEM, July 20 (Xinhua) -- At least 20 Palestinian protesters were injured in clashes with the police in East Jerusalem on Thursday night, as Israel's security cabinet was adjourned to discuss the removal of controversial metal detectors at a Muslim shrine.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said that after the evening prayers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, dozens of worshippers came down from the hilltop compound and hurled stones and glass bottles at the police.

The police responded with dozens of stun grenades, trying to disperse the protesters.

Local media reported that at least 20 Palestinians were wounded during the clashes.

Also on Thursday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a special meeting of his security cabinet to discuss a possible removal of the metal detectors that Israel has installed on Sunday at the gates of the flashpoint site.

The meeting, in the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, includes top ministers and heads of the security system.

Muslim leaders called for a mass prayer in East Jerusalem on Friday, in protest of the new measures.

The military and the police boosted their presence in the city with hundreds of police and Border Police officers and five army brigades that were put on call.

The contested electronic gates were installed after three Arab citizens of Israel carried out a shooting attack last Friday, killing two Israeli policemen. The assailants were shot dead by the police.

Worshippers have been refusing to enter due to the new metal detectors, with Palestinians charging the step is an Israeli attempt to claim further control over the site.

The Palestinians, as well as some Arab countries, urged Israel to remove the gates, saying it was a violation of the long-held status quo under which the Muslim Waqf is in charge of running the site.

(Editor:Grace) (From:XINHUA)
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