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Abbas discusses Al-Aqsa clashes with Israeli president

ABBAS DISCUSSES AL-AQSA CLASHES WITH ISRAELI PRESIDENT

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday talked to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and condemned the shooting incident near Al-Aqsa mosque.

"Abbas expressed his strong rejection and condemnation of the incident that took place in Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as his rejection of any violent incidents from any side, especially in places of worship," according to Palestinian official news agency WAFA.

Abbas called on Netanyahu to end the closure imposed on the holy site, warning of the consequences of such measures, WAFA reported.

Netanyahu, for his part, stressed that there will be no change in the status quo of the Al-Aqsa mosque and called on all sides to work to calm the situation.

Palestinian government has condemned the Israeli forces' storming and closure of the Al-Aqsa mosque, declaring it a 'terrorist act'.

"This is dangerous escalation which will disrupt all international specially American efforts, to revive the peace process," Tareq Rishmawi, spokesperson of the Palestinian government, said in a statement.

"Israel's continuations of committing these crimes will not deter us from strengthen the steadfastness of our people, specifically in the city of East Jerusalem," he added.

Hundreds of Palestinians performed Friday prayer in Bab Al-Asbat (Lion's Gate) after they were prevented from praying at Al-Aqsa mosque.

Early morning, Israeli police shot dead three Palestinians, who they claimed carried out an armed attack inside the flashpoint Al-Aqsa compound, resulting in the death of two police officers.

According to a statement by the Israeli police, the Palestinians opened fire at the Israeli officers injuring three policemen.

Following the attack, Israeli police cleared the Al-Aqsa mosque and closed it for public.

Yoram Ha-Levy, Jerusalem police district commander said that Friday prayers will not be held at the Al-Aqsa mosque.

After the attack, the Israeli Police beefed up security, deploying hundreds of troops and erecting roadblocks at the entrances of Jerusalem's Old City, eyewitnesses said.

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