JERUSALEM (AFP) Tens of thousands of Muslims poured into the heavily guarded Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem for Jumatul Wida as Palestinians protested over newly relaunched peace talks. Israeli police put the number of namazis at 160,000 to 170,000, while Muslim authorities said it exceeded 200,000. In his Juma sermon Sheikh Yusef Abu Sneineh criticised the relaunch on Thursday of Middle East peace talks in Washington, saying these negotiations are a joke. He went on to accuse Israel of seeking normalisation with the Arab and Muslim world while continuing its colonisation of the occupied West Bank through the building of Jewish settlements. In the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, hundreds of people attended a rally in honour of the Iranian-declared Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day. Senior officials from Hamas and other factions called for more armed resistance following twin attacks by the group in the West Bank that killed four settlers ahead of the talks. Jerusalem will not be liberated by negotiations but by jihad and resistance, senior Hamas official Ismail Al-Ashqar told the crowd, adding that it was a crime to participate in such talks. Jerusalem remained calm, however, according to Israeli police. As in previous weeks, the police deployed 2,000 men around the mosque. They have not interfered, and the prayer has taken place with the utmost calm, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmulik Ben Ruby said. The fate of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest issues in the Middle East peace process, with Israel claiming the entire city as its capital and the Palestinians demanding East Jerusalem as the capital of their promised state.