After Shooting, Al-Aqsa Mosque Reopens

Israeli officials reopened Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque (also known as Temple Mound) on Friday on a limited basis, the Guardian reports. The mosque, the third holiest site of Islam and a significant site for the Jewish faith, was closed on Thursday following the shooting of a far-right-leaning Rabbi on Wednesday.

The man suspected of attempting to kill the Rabbi was shot and killed by Israli anti-terrorism forces on Thursday morning. He was reportedly a member of militant organization Islamic Jihad.

Thursday’s closure was the first time in over 14 years that visitors were completely barred from entering the mosque. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas called the closure “tantamount to a declaration of war.”

Jordan is the official custodian of the holy site and its former foreign minister Jawad Anani told the New York Times that “His Majesty is reflecting the anger domestically. If anything happens to Al Aqsa under his guardianship, there will be huge consequences inside and outside of Jordan, so there’s a lot of pressure.”

In past moments of tension, Israeli officials have limited access to the mosque to men over 50 years old and women over 45 years old. A similar protocol was put in place on Friday morning for those attending weekly Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa.


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