Campaign for Jerusalem begins after Palestine freezes contacts with Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the United States, charged that Abbas and his rivals in the Islamist militant movement Hamas were stoking passions over the mosque and inciting Palestinians to violence.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered extra troops into the West Bank and the home of the Palestinian attacker who stabbed to death three Israelis on Friday has been raided.

The arrests throughout the West Bank included "senior members", a statement from the Shin Bet internal security agency said, and was part of preventive measures in the wake of "the tensions around the Temple Mount".

Many Muslims refuse to go through the detectors installed at the entrances to the holy site after the July 14 Palestinian attack at the Temple Mount, which claimed lives of two Israeli police officers.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas canceled scheduled security coordination meetings between Israeli and Palestinian officials.

Israel chose to install the metal detectors after Arab-Israeli gunmen had shot two police officers dead.

The call came one day after Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi held talks with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shukri over phone on the latest developments in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque.

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Now, after the clashes in East Jerusalem and the settler killings, Mr Netanyahu does not want to be seen as caving into Palestinian violence, Mr Eldar said.

In a further indication of the hardening of positions, the Muslim authorities that oversee al-Aqsa said they would continue to oppose any new Israeli-imposed measures.

Mr Gallant, who is from the right-wing Kulanu party, also said the detectors are not a practical security solution given the large number of people who pray at Al Aqsa.

Gilad Erdan, Israel's public security minister, warned of potential "large-scale volatility" - a prospect made more likely in the West Bank by the absence of Abbas's help.

Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said the Israeli government is "playing with fire and causing a major crisis with the Arab and Islamic world".

Fatah even described Israel's move of metal detectors installation as "racist".

Egypt urged Israel to not only halt violence and but the heightened security measures against Palestinians in Jerusalem, after three Palestinians were killed in clashes with occupation forces at the mosque.

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