Israel Dismantles Controversial Metal Detectors At Jerusalem Holy Site

Israel began Tuesday to dismantle metal detectors it installed a week earlier at a contested Jerusalem shrine, hoping to defuse a crisis with the Muslim world, including security ally Jordan, the Muslim custodian of the holy site.

Meanwhile, Jordan's Royal Court issued a statement on Monday saying that King Abdullah II discussed the crisis with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stressing the need to remove the security measures taken by the Israeli security forces.

Israel put the devices in place on July 16, two days after two Israeli policemen were shot and killed by Israeli-Arab attackers who had concealed weapons in the compound in the heart of the Old City.

The Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem's Old City is sacred to both Jews and Muslims.

"Anyone who has the opportunity should visit Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa mosque", Erdogan said in Ankara.

One Jordanian, 16-year-old Mohammed Jawawdeh, was killed during an altercation with a guard outside the Israeli Embassy in Amman. "We expect Israel to take steps for the peace of the region".

A statement from the Waqf, the Islamic endowments organisation which administers the compound, said there should be "no entry into Al-Aqsa mosque until after an assessment by a Waqf technical committee and the return of the situation to how it was before the 14th of this month". "The attack on Neve Shalom synagogue, which is a place of worship for our Jewish citizens who have been this country's fellow nationals for many centuries, can not be an answer to Israel's terror policies", HDP deputy parliamentary group chair Ahmet Yıldırım said on July 24.

Livni says that tactical differences over security measures at a Jerusalem holy site have deteriorated into something far worse and Israel has to stop this.

"Yes there have been Israeli guards outside the compound, but it is under Palestinian control within the compound, with Palestinian guards - so our stance is that putting any kind of new administrations on the ground will give Israel new control over the mosque, which is what the Israelis have always wanted, and what we will not accept" he said.


Media captionJerusalem holy site security row explainedWhy is the metal detectors' removal important?

Israel's security Cabinet has reached no decision about the new security measures at a Jerusalem holy site that have set off a wave of violence.

Abbas froze contacts with Israel last week over the dispute, including security coordination, and said today it would continue "unless all measures go back to what they were before July 14".

Israel officials said the country made a decision to replace the metal detectors with "smart", less obtrusive surveillance means - but Palestinians rejected the new measures, calling for a return to the status quo before July 14. "They must return Al-Aqsa to how it was before", Zahra Quos, a resident of the African enclave, which lies on the edges of the mosque, told Anadolu Agency.

Clashes erupted between Israeli police and Palestinians in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras el Amud, outside Jerusalem's Old City, on July 21, 2017.

Four Palestinians were killed in the clashes and three Israelis were killed on Friday night, when they were stabbed inside their home in a West Bank settlement. Yet many Palestinians are upset that more and more religious-nationalist Jews visit the compound each day, with some attempting to pray.

Palestinians have based their objection to any new security measures at the holy site on the insistence that a delicate balance of prayer and visiting rights, known as the "status quo" be preserved.

If cameras are used, that could still spark Palestinian opposition.

But on top of the outbreak of violence mainly in the Jerusalem area, a Palestinian move on Friday by President Mahmoud Abbas to suspend official contacts and global criticism put pressure on Israel.

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