Israel shuts Jerusalem holy site after unrest

Firebomb on Temple Mount sparks unrest as Israeli police close entrances to site

His office said it has been in communication with a number of parties including Jordan, in an effort "to pressure the occupation's government to halt this unsafe escalation".

There were no injuries reported from the firebombing.

However, The Islamic Waqf, the body that controls the Temple Mount, claims the firebomb attack "was fabricated and deliberately escalated and planned by the police".

Tensions in the holy compound in Jerusalem have risen in recent weeks after the site's Muslim administrators reopened a mosque sealed by Israel during a Palestinian uprising in 2003.

Police quickly deployed across the hilltop compound, scuffling with worshipers in the area as they searched for the assailants. "Police will respond with strength and determination to any act of violence or attempt to harm Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount".

After the sanctuaries were temporarily closed, several dozen worshippers gathered just outside the compound for impromptu prayers, as Israeli police stood watch.

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Also on Tuesday night, in a separate incident, a Palestinian man was fatally shot by Israeli forces during clashes in the West Bank town of Salfit near Ramallah.

Israel and Jordan are believed to be holding discussions to resolve the issue. Last week, Israeli officials traveled to Jordan for meetings, and Jordanian officials have also visited Jerusalem according to Israeli reports. While the Israelis agree, they insist it must first be closed without renovations taking place, as a statement of Israeli authority.

Monday's incident comes a day after Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan vowed that there will be "no second mosque on the Temple Mount" and that "God willing" Jews will be able to pray there freely in the near future.

Jordanian officials reportedly suggested closing the Bab al-Rahma building for an indefinite period while it undergoes renovations.

Palestinian demonstrators break open the locked entrance to the Gate of Mercy compound outside the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, February 18, 2019.

Abdul Nasser Abu Basal, Jordanian Minister of Islamic Affairs and Holy Sites, described the barring of Muslim worshippers from the site as "a flagrant assault on all religious values, rights and freedom", and "an attack on all Muslims that touches the entire Islamic nation".

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