Local groups mount protests over security at holy site

Michale Berg Jewish Voices for Peace Palestine ProtestBut the director of the Missouri chapter of CAIR, who described the killing of the Israeli police officers as a “heinous act,” said the local protest was about more than just the metal detectors. He pointed to the Israeli police’s decision to temporarily ban male Muslim worshippers under the age of 50 to pray at the site. Such moves “increase the level of anger for Muslims who feel that Israel is continuing to encroach on their land and on their religion,” said Faizan Syed, who helped organize the protest alongside members of groups like Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization that promotes the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.

“What started as three deranged lunatics” — the Arab-Israelis who shot the police officers — “has now resulted in people all over the world protesting in the streets, and that’s why we have to be very careful” in how police respond “especially when it comes to holy sites in Jerusalem,” said Syed, who has participated in interfaith efforts with the Jewish Community Relations Council.

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