Israel closes Al-Aqsa mosque citing security, says it will reopen Friday

World Today

Israel shut down the Al-Aqsa mosque on Thursday, Islam’s third holiest site. The closure set off a wave of condemnation in the Arab world and provoked threats of violent confrontation. CCTV America’s Stephanie Freid reports.

Israel closes Al-Aqsa mosque citing security, says it will reopen Friday

Israel shut down the Al-Aqsa mosque on Thursday, Islam's third holiest site. The closure set off a wave of condemnation in the Arab world and provoked threats of violent confrontation. CCTV America's Stephanie Freid reports.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described Israel’s Thursday shut down as “a declaration of war. ”

Such a move hasn’t been made in 14 years. The action was prompted by an attempted drive-by assassination of an Israeli right-wing activist by a Palestinian a day earlier. The would-be assassin was later killed in a strike by Israeli forces.

The closure is being viewed in the Arab world as an aggressive move by Israel and an attempted takeover of the mosque. Despite the closure, Jewish settlers also attempted to storm it Thursday.

Al-Aqsa will reopen to worshippers Friday, but that has yet to appease Palestinian leaders who fear more shutdowns in the future and are calling for immediate international intervention in the matter.

Palestinian leaders accuse Israel of trying to ‘Judaize’ all of Jerusalem and are calling on the Palestinian people to come to the city to defend the mosque on Friday.