World Bulletin/News Desk
The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Thursday asserted that Israel's closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem was tantamount to a "declaration of war" against the Palestinian people.
"We hold the Israeli government responsible for these dangerous escalations in occupied East Jerusalem, the latest of which was the closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound," PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah was quoted as saying by the Wafa news agency.
On Thursday, Israeli authorities shut the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound indefinitely for the first time since Israel's 1967 occupation of East Jerusalem.
The move came shortly after an extremist Jewish rabbi was seriously injured in a drive-by shooting in Jerusalem late Wednesday.
Following the shooting, Israeli forces gunned down a Palestinian man in a raid on his East Jerusalem home for suspected involvement in the incident.
Earlier Thursday, clashes erupted in parts of East Jerusalem between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces after Israeli authorities closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex and killed the Palestinian suspect.
Abu Rudeinah described Israel's closure of the mosque compound as a "dangerous act."
"It will lead to further tension and instability and will create a negative and dangerous atmosphere," he said.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
Last Mod: 05 Kasım 2014, 16:40