Pope – pray for peace and reconciliation at Temple Mount

Pope Francis is urging people to pray for peace and reconciliation and has called for “moderation and dialogue” during an upsurge in violence between Israel and the Palestinians over Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

Francis says it is with “trepidation” he is following the “grave tensions and violence” that erupted at the holy site on 14 July.

The tensions started after three Israeli Arabs opened fire at Temple Mount. Three people died, including two Israeli police officers. About 300 others were injured.

Israel increased security measures in the area before the Temple Mount entrances; these included installing metal detectors.

Muslim leaders have rejected the new measures. Israel has refused to removed the metal detectors.

In response, a 19-year-old Palestinian, stabbed three members of one family to death on Friday evening  during their Shabbat meal. They were celebrating the birth of a grandchild who had been born that morning.

Although a number of family members including children were at the meal, most were not injured.

The 19-year old responsible for the stabbing was shot during the attack. He has now been released from hospital and is being questioned by Israel’s security services. It has been revealed he identifies with Hamas


Journalists have been temporarily banned from Temple Mount while investigations continue.


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