WORLD

Arab League says Israel 'playing with fire' at holy site

ARAB LEAGUE SAYS ISRAEL PLAYING WITH FIRE AT HOLY SITE

The Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit underlined Jerusalem is a red line, no Arab or Muslim will accept violations" against the city's holy sites and he accused Israel of "playing with fire" with new security measures.

The Arab League has warned Israel is "playing with fire" over the "red line" of Jerusalem and its foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday over Israeli-Palestinian violence, according to statements on Sunday.

"Jerusalem is a red line that Muslims and Arabs cannot allow to be crossed,... and what is happening today is an attempt to impose a new reality on the Holy city," Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in a statement.

"The Israeli government is playing with fire and risking a major crisis with the Arab and Islamic world."

Abul Gheit accused Israel's government of "adventurism" and said its moves could trigger a "crisis with the Arab and Muslim world".

The compound, which includes the revered Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, has been the focal point of tensions between Israelis and Palestinians for decades.

Arab League foreign ministers will hold emergency talks in Cairo on Wednesday, the group said in a statement.

The United Nations Security Council plans to meet on Monday to discuss the bloodiest spate of Israeli-Palestinian violence for years. Sweden, Egypt and France requested the meeting to urgently discuss de-escalation in Jerusalem.

Anger has spilled across the West Bank since last week when Israel shut the Al-Aqsa Mosque, following a deadly shootout.

The mosque was reopened after a two-day closure, with Israel installing metal detectors and cameras at the mosque's gates that Palestinians say aim to change the status quo -- a delicate balance of prayer and visiting rights.

Israel refused to remove the detectors, claiming the security measures were similar to procedures taken at other holy sites around the world.

Israel sent extra troops into the occupied West Bank on Saturday after violence erupted over Israel's installation of metal detectors at entry points to the Noble Sanctuary-Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem's walled Old City.

The city of Jerusalem is sacred to members of all there Abrahamic faiths -- Muslims, Jews, and Christians -- and the Al-Aqsa Mosque represents the Islamic world's third-holiest site.

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