The site known as the Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims is one of the most sensitive spots in the Middle East. A match was tossed at the tinderbox on July 14 when three Arab citizens of Israel carried out a shooting attack on Israeli police stationed at the holy site, killing two of them. Israel responded by installing metal detectors, which Palestinian Muslims — and many others across the Islamic world — said was violation of the status quo. Over the next 10 days, Palestinians held prayers and protests outside the gates of the site, which contain the iconic Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque. Clashes with Israeli forces ensued, and spread to the West Bank. Amid a growing diplomatic crisis with Jordan and U.S. intervention, Israel removed the metal detectors on July 25.
These images reflect the intensity of sentiment surrounding the issue, one that is likely to resurface as each side accuses the other of violations and incitement. All photographs by Samantha Shanahan.
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