Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, the imam of Al Aqsa Mosque was injured during clashes with Israeli police on Tuesday. Clashes at the compound that left two Israelis and three Palestinians dead last week have escalated tensions.

A Palestinian man holds a sign during a protest against the metal detectors placed at the entrance to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Wednesday, July 19, 2017.
A Palestinian man holds a sign during a protest against the metal detectors placed at the entrance to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Wednesday, July 19, 2017.

The imam of Al Aqsa Mosque in Occupied East Jerusalem has told TRT World protests will continue at the complex until Israel removes the new security measures imposed.

Metal detectors were installed at the Al Aqsa compound after a shooting on July 14 in which two police officers and three gunmen were killed.

The spiritual leader, Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, was injured on Tuesday by a rubber bullet after praying outside the gates of the compound in protest of the installation of the metal detectors.

The imam had finished leading the night prayer when Israeli police attempted to disperse worshippers by force, leaving many injured, some seriously, according to the Palestine's Red Crescent Society.

Sabri was taken to the Al Maqassid Hospital in eastern Jerusalem.

Mass Friday protests

Jerusalem's top Muslim cleric has called on all of the city's mosques to be closed on Friday to protest new Israeli security measures at the Al Aqsa Mosque.

Grand Mufti Muhammad Hussein told reporters on Wednesday that Palestinian Muslims should all gather outside the gates of the Al Aqsa Mosque for the weekly Friday prayer.

The foundation in charge of running the site, has described the new security measures as a violation of the "status quo," the delicate balance of prayer and visiting rights at the holy site which is also revered by Jews, who call it the Temple Mount.

Al Aqsa Mosque is Islam's third-holiest site after the grand mosque in Mecca and Prophet Muhammad's mosque in Medina.

Thousands of Muslims, Christians and Jews from around the world regularly travel to Jerusalem to pray at the compound which is considered a sacred site by all three of the world's major religions.

US working to solve Al Aqsa crisis: Fatah official

The US is working to help solve the dispute over Israel putting metal detectors at the entrance of the historic Al Aqsa Mosque, a senior Palestinian official said Wednesday.

Palestinian Muslims pray outside the Lion's Gate following an appeal from clerics to pray in the streets instead of the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, in Jerusalem's Old City, Wednesday, July 19, 2017 (AP)
Palestinian Muslims pray outside the Lion's Gate following an appeal from clerics to pray in the streets instead of the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, in Jerusalem's Old City, Wednesday, July 19, 2017 (AP)

"Washington is conducting contacts with Jordan and other Arab countries and with Israel as well with a view to reaching an urgent solution to the current serious situation in Jerusalem," Hatem Abdel Qader, a member of Fatah movement's Revolutionary Council, told Anadolu Agency.

Abdel Qader said there are also direct contacts between the Israeli and Jordanian governments on the same issue.

"I have personally learned from Western sources that there is a compromise proposed by Americans to remove the metal detectors from the entrances of Al Aqsa Mosque, and to only do inspections at the mosque doors," he added.

"So far we have no idea what they mean by inspections, but for our part, we reject physical inspections for every person who opts to enter the mosque," he said.

Israeli PM speaks to security chiefs

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone Wednesday with Israel's security chiefs as tensions mounted over a contested Jerusalem shrine where Muslims called for mass protests.

A Palestinian man walks towards a metal detector at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, Wednesday, July 19, 2017 (AFP)
A Palestinian man walks towards a metal detector at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, Wednesday, July 19, 2017 (AFP)

Conflicts over the walled holy site, revered by Muslims and Jews, have repeatedly triggered Israeli-Palestinian confrontations.

Israel began installing metal detectors, a move Muslim religious leaders and Palestinian politicians alleged is part of an Israeli attempt to expand control at the site.

Israel has denied such allegations, saying metal detectors are routine security devices used at holy sites around the world.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies