Jerusalem Police Warn Muslims of Casualties if Temple Mount Clashes Continue



Jerusalem police chief Yoram Halevi on Thursday warned Muslim worshipers against further violence over access to the Temple Mount, stressing that police would respond "directly and forcefully."

Earlier in the day, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Hussein declared an end to the dispute over the holy site and encouraged worshipers to pray on its premises as normal.

"Don’t test us, because we know how to respond, and we know how to respond directly and forcefully… if there are people who try tomorrow to disturb the peace, to harm police or citizens, they should not be surprised: There will be casualties and people injured," Halevi said as quoted by The Times of Israel newspaper.

The police chief added that no actions would be taken if worshipers followed instructions of their leaders to end the protests.

Clashes erupted over the weekend in Jerusalem’s Old City as Muslims heading to the Temple Mount to pray in al-Aqsa mosque. 

Specifically, the violence was triggered when worshipers refused to go through the metal detectors installed by Israeli authorities after a Palestinian attack on July 15 killed two Israeli police officers.

In an effort to alleviate tensions, Israeli authorities removed metal detectors earlier this week and the remaining barriers earlier in the day.

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