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Crisis over Jerusalem holy site intensifies ahead of Friday prayers

Crisis over Jerusalem holy site intensifies ahead of Friday prayers

Days of escalating clashes and a diplomatic crisis over recently installed Israeli metal detectors at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City are stoking concern of a new wave of violence ahead of Friday prayers.

Girding for a surge of friction at noontime prayers on the Muslim day of rest, the Israeli army put five extra battalions on alert. Meanwhile, international diplomats called for a compromise as Israel and Jordan looked for a path to defuse a standoff before Friday.

Israeli authorities installed the security equipment Sunday, two days after a shootout on the esplanade — holy to both Jews and Muslims — in which three Israeli Arabs with homemade machine guns...

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