Fourteen Palestinian worshippers, including the Imam of Al Aqsa, Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, were injured after being attacked by Israeli police during the third day of protests at the holy compound in Occupied East Jerusalem.

Israeli security forces attack Muslim worshippers in Occupied Jerusalem's Old City on July 18, 2017.
Israeli security forces attack Muslim worshippers in Occupied Jerusalem's Old City on July 18, 2017.

The spiritual leader of the Al Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, was injured on Tuesday by a rubber bullet after praying outside the gates of the compound, Palestinian medical personnel confirmed.

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.

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus slammed Israel and called the closure of the mosque a crime against humanity.

"The closure of Al Aqsa Mosque for prayers by Israel is not acceptable. That's crime against humanity, crime against freedom to worship."

Turkey's Minister of Religious Affairs Mehmet Gormez "strongly condemned" the attack in a statement Wednesday on Twitter.

"While our geography is facing tremendous pain, the incidents going on at Al Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings have been bringing any prudent man to worry greatly. I believe that they will not let Al Aqsa have the same fate as Al Khalil Mosque, cave of discretion, prudency, moderation, and peace patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph," he wrote in reference to the 1994 massacre at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron where 30 Muslim worshippers were killed by a US-born Jewish terrorist.

The shooting on Tuesday occurred just hours after Rafaat al Herbawi, 30, was killed during protests at the mosque as tensions rose across the West Bank after Israel installed metal detectors at the entrance to Al Aqsa following a shootout on Friday that left five people dead.

Turkish opposition

Turkey's parliamentary group chairman of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) also slammed Israeli restrictions on Muslims wishing to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Speaking in parliament on Tuesday, Erhan Usta condemned Israel's order to close the Al Aqsa mosque to Muslim worshippers.

Usta also mentioned Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan's remarks on the Al Aqsa Mosque, "Al Aqsa Mosque is in our power. Israel has the first and the last word on closing and opening of it."

The MHP senior official condemned Israel's attitude.

"Jerusalem is virtually under blockade. It is impossible to accept this attitude of Israel. I condemn this attitude," Usta said.

"It is also unacceptable that the international community remains silent on this issue."

Dozens injured in clashes at Al Aqsa compound

Fourteen Palestinian worshippers, including Sheikh Sabri, were injured after being attacked by Israeli police during the third day of protests at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Occupied East Jerusalem.

A hospital official said one man had suffered a serious head wound from a rubber bullet fired from close range.

Israel closed the holy site on Friday after two Israeli police officers were allegedly attacked by what the Israelis identified as three Israeli Palestinians.

When it was reopened on Sunday, metal detectors and other strict security measures had been implemented, angering Muslims around the world.

Though Israeli officials said it was a permanent measure, Muslims refused to go through them and preferred to pray outside the compound.

The Palestinian Authority's leading faction, Fatah, has called for a "Day of Rage" on Wednesday, in response to the new security measures, which Palestinians say alter the delicate balance of prayer and visiting rights, known as the status quo.

TRT World's Nicole Johnston has more.

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.

Mosque closure

Jerusalem's top Muslim cleric on Wednesday 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.

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

Source: TRTWorld and agencies