19:58 GMT21 February 2020
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    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his phone talk with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his strong condemnation over the attack in Jerusalem and called on the Israel to reopen the holy Islamic site on Temple Mount, local media reported Friday.

    GAZA/TEL AVIV (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, two Israeli policemen died, and a third was wounded after three armed assailants opened fire at the Temple Mount complex, where the mosques of al-Aqsa and Qubbat al-Sakhra stand on the ruins of ancient Jewish temples. The police pursued and killed the assailants. Following the attack, the complex was cleared of visitors and closed off to carry out searches at the site.

    Abbas phoned Netanyahu and expressed his strong condemnation over the deadly incident, as well as his rejection of any violent incidents from any side, especially in places of worship, calling to cancel the closure imposed on the holy site and warning of the consequences of such measures, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

    Netanyahu assured Abbas that Israel would take all necessary measures to ensure security at the holy place, and the status quo of the site would not change, the press service of Israeli prime minister reported.

    The status quo suggests that the Temple Mount is under the autonomous administration of the Islamic religious trust Waqf, only the followers of Islam can pray on the site, and representatives of other religious traditions are allowed to visit it freely. For many times, events on the Temple Mount and even rumors about Israel's alleged plans to restore the Jewish presence there have become a catalyst for large-scale escalations of the Middle East conflict with many victims on both sides.


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    terror attack, security, Mahmoud Abbas, Temple Mount, Jerusalem
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