Heads of local churches paid a solidarity visit to Muslim clerics and leaders after recent clashes on the Temple Mount after prayer.
Heads of local churches paid a solidarity visit to Muslim clerics and leaders after recent clashes on the Temple Mount after prayer. The clashes were sparked by new excavations near the Haram al Sharif, which contains the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque, which constitute the 3rd holiest site in Islam. Muslim leaders said that Israeli soldiers stormed the Haram al Sharif one Friday, Feb 10, throwing sound grenades and using tear gas to force those gathered to leave.
The Christian and Muslim leaders talked about what to do to keep sensitive holy sites protected, respected and not challenged by any one party’s unilateral actions. Several Muslim clerics have been arrested for trying to pray at the Mosque after being forbidden to enter. The religious leaders ask that holy places be open and accessible to all for prayer and worship as international law dictates.
Due to the heightened tensions, the Palestinian side of Jerusalem has been virtually shut down and under a tight closure for over two weeks now. Thousands of police and army filled the streets with gates and jeeps closing off streets. Though excavations appear to have been stopped finally for now and the closure has mostly lifted, tensions remain very high in Jeruaslem.