Jerusalem (Staff Report): Tensions between Palestinians and Israelis over the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound has prompted the international community to call for calm and a restoration of the status quo, which gives Muslims religious control over the compound and Jews the right to visit, but not pray there, Al-Jazeera reported.
Palestinian worshippers had refused to pray inside Al-Aqsa Mosque since Israel installed new security measures following an attack on July 14, when three Palestinian citizens of Israel shot dead two Israeli security guards before they were chased inside the compound and gunned down.
Israel then cancelled Friday prayers and shut down the compound for the first time since 1969, prompting outrage among Palestinians.
Thousands usually gather at the mosque for Friday prayers.
The compound was reopened two days later after metal detectors were installed at the entrances, which Palestinians viewed an encroachment of Israeli control over the holy site.
In protest, Palestinian worshippers have been conducting prayers outside by the gates.
Israeli security forces clamped down on daily demonstrations this week, resulting in dozens of injuries.
The site houses Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock shrine, Islam's third holiest site after Mecca and Medina, but also the ruins of the Biblical Jewish Temple.
World officials have expressed their concern and called on Israel and Jordan, the custodian of the compound, to reach an agreement in a bid to defuse the tensions.