Israel Blocks Access to Contested Holy Site in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM — The Israeli authorities closed off all access to a contested holy site in the Old City here on Thursday for the first time in years, a step that a Palestinian spokesman denounced as amounting to “a declaration of war.”

The action came after Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man who was suspected of involvement in an attempt on Wednesday toassassinate a leading agitator for more Jewish access to the site, which Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary. The closure prevented Muslims from worshiping at Al Aksa mosque, one of the three holiest sites in Islam.

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