Posts Tagged ‘metal detectors’

Israeli Supreme Court: Metal Detectors Must Be Removed Because They Are “Offensive to Arabs” — But This Story May Have Another Ending

September 1, 2017

BY HAGAY HACOHEN

 

 AUGUST 31, 2017 16:00

 

A Jewish advocacy group claims that if metal detectors on Temple Mount are offensive to Arabs, they are offensive for Jewish people and tourists as well and should be removed.

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VIEW OVER The Temple Mount. Right: Al-Aksa Mosque. Left: Dome of the Rock. (. (photo credit:Mark Neiman/GPO)

The Jewish advocacy group Utzma Yhudit (Jewish Strength) appealed to the Supreme Court asking it to remove the metal detectors placed at the Temple Mount’s Mughrabi Gate in Jerusalem,which is the only gate from which non-Muslims can enter the compound.

The appeal was submitted to the court by lawyer Itamar Ben-Gvir and states that the decision of the Israeli cabinet to remove metal detectors from gates that serve Muslims and their continued use for Jews and tourists “creates a reality of discrimination due to nationality and damages the right of Jews and tourists to equality.”

On July 14, 2017, three Arab terrorists shot Israeli policemen outside the Temple Mount compound, killing two police officers.  

The three terrorists, all Arab Israeli citizens, fled back to the Temple Mount compound where they were captured and shot by Israeli police.

The Israeli government accepted the proposition by police that metal detectors should be used to prevent further attacks but Muslims refused to walk through them to enter al-Aksa mosque, stating that they view the detectors as a violation of the status quo.

Eventually, the detectors were removed.

Utzma Yhudit told the court that “there can be no disagreement that the decision to remove the detectors [used in relation to] Muslims was taken due to the race [sic] of these Muslims and them being Arabs.”

They requested that the usage of detectors in relation to Jews and non-Muslims be halted until the court reaches a decision.

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Are-Metal-Detectors-checks-for-Jews-biased-503896

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Israel to let MPs visit flashpoint Jerusalem holy site Al-Aqsa mosque (Called the Temple Mount by Jews)

August 24, 2017

AFP

© AFP | Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men leave after praying at the Western Wall, the most holy site in Judaism, in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem’s Old City
JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to ease a ban on lawmakers visiting a sensitive Jerusalem holy site rocked by violence last month, his office said Thursday.An official told AFP on condition of anonymity that members of parliament would be allowed to visit the site known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and Jews as the Temple Mount in a one-day trial next week.

“In consultation with security officials, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to open the Temple Mount to MPs’ visits, for one day at this stage, on Tuesday, August 29,” the member of his office said.

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“The decision was taken in light of the improvement in the security situation at the site,” he said. “Decisions on the issue will continue to be made in accordance with assessments of the security situation.”

Netanyahu instructed police in October 2015 to bar lawmakers from visiting the site in the Old City of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem which houses the Al-Aqsa mosque complex and the Dome of the Rock.

It was meant to help calm unrest that erupted in part over Palestinian fears that Israel was planning to assert further control over the compound.

Netanyahu has said repeatedly that he is committed to the status quo there.

The site is the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam, and it is central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Jews are allowed to visit the compound but not pray there, and the site has been the scene of regular confrontation over any attempt to flout the rule.

Yehuda Glick, a lawmaker from Netanyahu’s rightwing Likud party, had in March petitioned Israel’s supreme court against the ban on members of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, visiting the hilltop site.

On July 4, the justice ministry said Knesset members would be allowed access for a “pilot number of days” starting on July 23.

But on July 14, three Israeli Arabs emerged from the mosque compound with automatic weapons and shot dead two policemen nearby before being shot dead by other officers.

Israel responded by installing metal detectors and other security equipment at the entrance but that triggered protests which left seven Palestinians dead.

Also, as the unrest raged, a Palestinian broke into a home in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank and stabbed four Israelis, killing three.

The crisis ended when Israel removed the Al-Aqsa security devices.

Jordan king makes rare West Bank visit to meet Palestinian president

August 7, 2017

King Abdullah II has flown to the West Bank to meet with Palestinian President Abbas for the first time in five years. The trip is being viewed as a message to Israel, particularly over a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site.

Jordan's King Abdullah II and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Jordan’s King Abdullah II flew by helicopter to the West Bank on Monday to hold talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas amid shared tensions with Israel.

Abdullah received a red carpet welcome in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority. He was greeted by Abbas before the two national anthems were played.

The two leaders meet fairly frequently in the Jordanian capital of Amman and other regional capitals, but it was Abdullah’s first visit to Ramallah since December 2012.

The king’s trip had to be coordinated with Israeli authorities who control all entrance and exit points to the West Bank, including the 150 kilometer (93 mile) border with Jordan and the airspace above it.

Jordan's King Abdullah II is hugged by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas King Abdullah II received a red carpet welcome and a hug from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Signal to Israel

Abdullah’s visit comes amid rising Jordanian-Israeli tensions and is seen as a message to Tel Aviv that the Jordanian monarch is aligning with Palestinians on key issues – particularly concerning a contested Jerusalem holy site.

A crisis erupted last month at the Al Aqsa mosque compound when Israel installed metal detectors at Muslim entrances following the killing of two Israeli policemen.

The compound, which sits on a plateau in the Old City, is the third holiest site in Islam and is also revered by the Jews who call it Temple Mount.

Read more: Opinion – Tension escalates on the Temple Mount

The security changes led to several days of protests and clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian worshippers.

Tensions peaked on July 23 when an Israeli security guard shot and killed two Jordanians at the Israeli embassy in Amman. Israeli officials say one of the men attacked the security guard with a screwdriver while the other was accidentally shot.

The crisis finally eased on July 27 when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered that the metal detectors be taken down after consultations with Jordan.

Read more: Why Israel censored reporting on the Jordan embassy shooting

Jordan has been the custodian of Jerusalem’s Muslim holy sites since the 1920s. The role is also a key component of Abdullah’s legitimacy.

Abbas and Abdullah are also likely to discuss a US-led effort to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks which have been on hold for the past three years.

US President Donald Trump’s envoy to the region, Jason Greenblatt, has made several trips to Jerusalem, Amman and Ramallah, but there are few signs of interest in restarting negotiations.

rs/se (AP, AFP, Reuters)

http://www.dw.com/en/jordan-king-makes-rare-west-bank-visit-to-meet-palestinian-president/a-39995071

Jerusalem: Record Number of Jews Visit The Temple Mount

August 1, 2017
BY JEREMY SHARON
 AUGUST 1, 2017 12:20
The influx in Jewish visitors to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount could be because of anger over the Israeli government’s behavior in the recent crisis surrounding the site.
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Record numbers of Jews visit the Temple Mount Tisha B’Av morning

A Tisha B’Av morning prayer service is conducted at the entrance gate to the Temple Mount before worshipers go up to the site. (photo credit:ELISHAMA SANDMAN)With the Jewish people commemorating the destruction of the ancient Temples in Jerusalem on the fast of Tisha B’Av on Tuesday, more than 1,000 Jewish visitors went to the Temple Mount on Tuesday morning, activist groups said.

According to the Yeraeh organization, which promotes Jewish visitation and prayer rights at the Temple Mount and which desires to rebuild the Jewish Temple at the site, 1,043 Jews visited from 7:30 till 11 this morning, a record for a single day.

Furthermore, the Temple Mount will be reopened at 13:30 for Jewish visitors for another hour, meaning that even larger numbers of visitors are expected.

The previous record was 995 Jewish visitors this past Jerusalem Day. Last year, just 400 Jews visited the site on Tisha B’Av.

According to Yeraeh, the recent tensions over the Temple Mount and the about-face performed by the government over metal detectors at the site has generated massive interest in visiting the site.

A Jewish worshipper prays in front of an entrance to the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, on Tisha B'Av, a day of fasting and lament, in Jerusalem's Old City August 1, 2017. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)A Jewish worshipper prays in front of an entrance to the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, on Tisha B’Av, a day of fasting and lament, in Jerusalem’s Old City August 1, 2017. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post this week, Asaf Fried, a spokesman for an association of organizations dedicated to Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, said that the activist groups had been receiving numerous calls since the crisis was ended, asking how to practically prepare, religiously, for visiting the Temple Mount.

“People are very angry, the government’s behavior last week was humiliating and degrading,” said Fried.

“If Moshe Dayan gave the Wakf the keys to the Temple Mount in 1967, then last week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave over sovereignty over the Temple Mount to the Wakf.”

Along with the new record for Jewish visitation in a single day, records have also been broken for Jewish visitation during this Hebrew calendar year, with 18,000 Jews having visited the Temple Mount in the framework of organized tour groups this year, easily beating last year’s figure of 14,908, and with six weeks of the year still remaining.

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Analysis: Jerusalem Shrine Crisis Hardens Leaders’ Positions — “A nation led by Prophet Muhammad will not be defeated.”

July 29, 2017

AMMAN, Jordan — The latest crisis over one of the most combustible spots in the Middle East has been defused for now, but has pushed the leaders of Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians into tougher positions that could trigger new confrontations. The standoff over a Jerusalem shrine holy to Muslims and Jews also signaled that the festering Israeli-Palestinian conflict is shifting further from what was once seen as a territorial dispute toward a religious one.

Palestinian prayer in the east Jerusalem area of Wadi Joz, near the Temple Mount, July 28, 2017. (Marc Israel Sellem)Palestinian prayer in the east Jerusalem area of Wadi Joz, near the Temple Mount, July 28, 2017. (Marc Israel Sellem)

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WHAT STARTED IT?

On July 14, three Arab assailants opened fire from the walled compound at Israeli police guards, killing two. The shooting left Israeli police scrambling for ways to screen worshippers for weapons as they enter the Muslim-run site through eight gates.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved a police recommendation to install metal detectors — reportedly over objections from Israel’s military and a domestic security agency.

The new measures stoked Muslim fears that Israel is trying to expand control over the site under the guise of security — a charge Israel denies. Palestinians in Jerusalem, led by senior Muslim clerics, began staging mass street prayers in protest, four Palestinians were killed in street clashes with Israeli troops and a Palestinian killed three members of an Israeli family in a West Bank settlement.

Tensions ebbed after Israel removed the metal detectors and other devices earlier this week.

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SIDELINED PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT

Mahmoud Abbas, who runs autonomous enclaves in the West Bank, was in China and his return home a week into the crisis reinforced perceptions among many Palestinians that he is out of touch. Trying to assert a leadership role, Abbas announced a suspension of security coordination with Israel until the situation at the shrine is restored to what it was before July 14.

For years, Abbas’ forces worked with Israel to foil attacks by militants in the West Bank, often acting against a shared foe, the Islamic militant Hamas. Such mutually beneficial cooperation, though unpopular among Palestinians, survived many crises and failed efforts to negotiate the terms of Palestinian statehood in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in 1967.

Abbas threatened in the past to end security coordination, but never followed through. If he now restores such ties, he risks further harm to his domestic standing. If he doesn’t, Israel’s right-wing government could retaliate and threaten the survival of his Palestinian Authority.

The crisis highlighted Abbas’ fading influence in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem. He also risks being cut off completely from Gaza, the territory he lost to Hamas in 2007. In recent weeks, Hamas and a former Abbas-aide-turned rival, Mohammed Dahlan, forged a Gaza power-sharing deal that would open the blockaded territory to Egypt and further weaken ties with the West Bank.

Abbas, 82, was briefly hospitalized Saturday for what his office said was a routine checkup, but it also served as a reminder of his advanced age and lack of a successor.

Nearly two weeks of civil disobedience have gripped the Palestinian territories [Ahmad Gharabli/AFP]

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ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER UNDER FIRE

Netanyahu was lambasted by all sides in Israel.

The center-left accused him of making hasty decisions at a volatile site — the third holiest in Islam and the most sacred on in Judaism — that has triggered major rounds of Israeli-Palestinian violence, including one involving Netanyahu in the mid-1990s.

Netanyahu’s ultra-nationalist rivals, key to the survival of his coalition, said he capitulated to Arab pressure and effectively encouraged Palestinians to push for more concessions.

Netanyahu responded with a flurry of tough statements.

He ordered the resumption of plans to build a new West Bank settlement and reportedly gave the green light to draft legislation to bring several West Bank settlements under Jerusalem’s jurisdiction. He vowed to “kick Al Jazeera out of Israel,” accusing the Qatar-based satellite station of inciting violence over the shrine crisis. And he called for the death penalty — not imposed by Israel for more than half a century — for last week’s killer of the Israeli family.

Even if it’s mostly rhetoric, Netanyahu’ statements suggest that fending off his ultra-nationalist challengers is more important to him than calming the atmosphere. As both Netanyahu and Abbas harden positions, chances of the Trump administration — itself embroiled in turmoil — being able to revive peace talks seem close to zero.

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JORDAN’S ANGRY MONARCH

King Abdullah II publicly vented his anger about what he called Netanyahu’s “provocative” behavior. Such harsh words from an Arab leader known for his measured tone were prompted by twin crises between the two countries and signaled delicate ties had taken a hit.

Abdullah, Muslim custodian of the Jerusalem shrine, was involved in trying to defuse tensions there when he faced another complication: On Sunday, a guard at the Israeli Embassy in Jordan shot dead two Jordanians after one attacked him with a screw driver.

After a phone call between the king and Netanyahu, the guard returned to Israel and Israel removed the metal detectors. The sequence of events suggested a horse trade with problematic optics for Abdullah that might have been forgotten quickly — had Netanyahu not given a hero’s welcome to the guard and inflamed long-running resentment against Israel in Jordan.

Jordan has since charged the guard with murder, demanded he be tried in Israel and issued a veiled threat — through an unidentified official quoted by Jordanian media — that Israel’s ambassador would not be allowed to return to Jordan until the guard is held accountable.

Israel and Jordan share strategic security interests, but any open cooperation at this time might not be tolerated by the Jordanian public. Abdullah already faces other threats to Jordan’s stability, including rising unemployment and spillover from regional conflicts.

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FROM LAND DISPUTE TO HOLY WAR?

Recent events made it clear that the conflict in the Holy Land is no longer just a territorial dispute that can be resolved through creative partition ideas. Such efforts ran aground a decade ago, and the absence of a solution has given a bigger role to the religious component. The showdown over shrine was increasingly being framed as a zero sum game between religions.

After Israel captured the shrine in 1967, it left the administration in Muslim hands to avoid a conflagration with the Muslim world. The arrangement held into the 1990s, when more rabbis challenged a long-standing religious ban on Jews entering the site.

Increased visits by Jews — even if Israel enforces a Jewish prayer ban at the compound — have spooked Muslims, reviving fears of purported Israeli takeover attempts.

In the past two weeks, Palestinian protesters chanted Islamic not nationalist slogans. “A nation led by Prophet Muhammad will not be defeated,” was one of the rallying cries.

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Laub, the AP bureau chief in Jordan, has covered the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1987.

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Associated Press writer Mohammed Daraghmeh in Ramallah, West Bank contributed reporting.

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Israeli security on high alert at the Old City of Jerusalem, July 28, 2017 (Marc Israel Sellem)Israeli security on high alert at the Old City of Jerusalem, July 28, 2017 (Marc Israel Sellem)

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Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers at Temple Mount.

Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers and newly installed metal detectors at an entrance to the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City July 16, 2017. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Inspecting a body on Friday near what Jews call the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The area, home to the complex of Al Aqsa Mosque, is Jerusalem’s holiest site for both faiths. This photo from just after the killing of Israelis on July 14, 2017. Credit Ammar Awad/Reuters

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The Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem.(Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Muslims enter Jerusalem holy site for first time in two weeks

July 27, 2017

AFP

© AFP | A Palestinian Muslim performs a prayer in gratitude to God near the Dome of the Rock in the Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, in the Old City of Jerusalem on July 27, 2017, as Palestinians ended an almost two-week boycott

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Palestinians ended a boycott and entered a sensitive Jerusalem holy site for the first time in two weeks Thursday after Israel removed controversial security measures there, potentially ending a crisis that sparked deadly unrest.

AFP journalists saw thousands of worshippers streaming into the Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, for afternoon prayers. The site includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Some cried as they entered while others shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest).

A last-minute confrontation threatened to derail the planned end of the boycott as Israeli police were keeping one of the gates leading to the holy site closed.

The gate is where two Israeli policemen were killed on July 14, prompting the new security measures.

Police later opened the gate and Palestinians stuck to their plan to end the boycott.

A tense standoff had been underway between Israel and Muslim worshippers at the holy site despite the removal of metal detectors on Tuesday.

Newly installed railings and scaffolding where cameras were previously mounted were also cleared early Thursday, after which police said all new security measures had now been removed.

Muslims had refused to enter the compound and prayed in the streets outside after Israel installed the new security measures.

Palestinians viewed the move as Israel asserting further control.

In response to the removal of the security measures, Muslim authorities called on worshippers to return.

Israeli authorities said the metal detectors were needed because the July 14 attackers smuggled guns into the compound and emerged from it to attack the officers.

Deadly unrest erupted in the days after the new measures were introduced, with clashes breaking out around the compound and in the occupied West Bank, leaving five Palestinians dead.

A Palestinian also broke into a home in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank last week and stabbed four Israelis, killing three of them.

Jerusalem holy site — Palestinian Authority’s Fatah faction urged Muslims to “intensify the popular struggle”

July 27, 2017

JERUSALEM — The Latest on developments on a contested shrine in Israel (all times local):

8:50 a.m.

Muslim leaders are telling worshippers to continue praying outside a contested Jerusalem holy site until they decide how to proceed after Israel removed some security measures it installed following a deadly Palestinian attack.

The director of Al-Aqsa mosque, Omar Kiswani, said a meeting of Muslim leaders would be held later Thursday morning.

Israel removed an overhead metal bridge and railings at an entrance to the site, meeting a demand by Muslim protesters. Earlier this week, Israel removed metal detectors there.

Israel installed the new security measures after Arab gunmen shot and killed two police officers from within the site earlier this month. It said they were necessary to prevent more attacks. Palestinians were outraged by the move and claimed Israel was trying to expand its control over the site, a charge Israel strongly denies.

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8:05 a.m.

Israel has removed an overhead metal bridge and the railings it had recently installed near a contested Jerusalem holy site, meeting a demand by Muslim protesters and causing thousands of Palestinians to celebrate in the streets.

Muslim leaders say they will decide later in the day Thursday whether worshippers can return to the shrine for prayers and end a crisis that Israel hoped it had resolved by making concessions at the site.

The head of the Supreme Islamic Committee, Ikrema Sabri, had said previously that worshippers would not return to the shrine until Israel removed the new railings and cameras it installed after a deadly attack there.

Israel installed new security measures earlier this month after Arab gunmen shot and killed two police officers from within the site.

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Muslim leader says Temple Mount protests to go on until measures removed

Cleric says police to be in touch with lawyer from Islamic group about resolving situation

 July 26, 2017, 6:03 pm

A Muslim man prays in front of a closed gate leading onto the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem on July 26, 2017. AFP/ AHMAD GHARABLI)

A Muslim man prays in front of a closed gate leading onto the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem on July 26, 2017. AFP/ AHMAD GHARABLI)

A senior Muslim official in Jerusalem said Wednesday that worshipers would not return to the Temple Mount until Israel removes the new railings and cameras it installed after a deadly terror attack there, prolonging a crisis that Israel hoped it had resolved by making concessions at the site.

Ikrema Sabri, head of the Supreme Islamic Committee, said that even after Israel removed metal detectors and cameras from the site, more steps were required to restore calm. He said mass prayer protests would continue until the gates of the compound were opened, metal railings and an iron bridge removed and all cameras taken down.

He said a lawyer working on behalf of the Muslim administration of the holy site would be in touch with Israeli police about it.

“We will not enter the mosque until these things are implemented,” he told The Associated Press. “Now we are awaiting the response of the police.”

Israel’s security cabinet announced Monday that in place of the metal detectors it would employ non-intrusive “advanced technologies,” reportedly smart cameras that can detect hidden objects. The new security system is said to be set up in the next six months at a cost of $28 million.

A Palestinian Muslim prays in the old city of Jerusalem on July 26, 2017, as a tense standoff between Israel and Muslim worshipers at the Temple Mount compound. (AFP PHOTO / AHMAD GHARABLI)

Cameras at the entrance to the Temple Mount set up after the July 14 terror attack were also taken down, though cameras that had been in place around the Old City already remain in place, a police official said Tuesday.

Netanyahu appeared to be doubling back again Wednesday when he instructed police forces to conduct thorough inspections at the site.

The dispute set off the prospect of a renewed showdown ahead of Friday prayers at the site, when a large number of worshipers arrive for the centerpiece of the Muslim prayer week.

On Wednesday, Hamas called for a “day of rage,” while the Palestinian Authority’s Fatah faction urged Muslims to “intensify the popular struggle” over the Temple Mount on the holy day.

Israel installed the new security measures earlier this month in the wake of the July 14 terror attack by three Arab Israelis who shot two Israeli police officers to death with guns that had been smuggled onto the Mount. It said they were necessary to prevent further attacks, while Palestinians claimed Israel was trying to expand its control over the site. The issue sparked some of the worst street clashes in years and threatened to draw Israel into conflict with other Arab and Muslim nations.

Muslim worshippers pray at an entrance to the Temple Mount at the Lion's Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, July 25, 2017. Muslim worshippers still refused to pray on the Temple Mount following the government's decision remove the metal detectors and instead place more security cameras on the compound. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Muslim worshippers pray at an entrance to the Temple Mount at the Lions Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, July 25, 2017. Muslim worshippers still refused to pray on the Temple Mount following the government’s decision remove the metal detectors and instead place more security cameras on the compound. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Under intense pressure, Israel removed the metal detectors and said it planned to install sophisticated security cameras instead.

But Palestinian politicians and Muslim clerics say that wasn’t enough and demanded that Israel restore the situation at the shrine in Jerusalem’s Old City to what it was before the July 14 deadly attack.

In response to that attack, Israel closed the site for two days for weapons searches and installed the metal detectors. The decision quickly triggered Muslim protests amid rumors that Israel was trying to expand its control at the site under the guise of security — a claim Israel strongly denied.

Israeli security forces stand by on guard as Palestinian Muslim worshipers gather to pray in the Old City of Jerusalem on July 26, 2017. AFP / AHMAD GHARABLI)

Israeli security forces stand by on guard as Palestinian Muslim worshipers gather to pray in the Old City of Jerusalem on July 26, 2017. AFP / AHMAD GHARABLI)

Low-level clashes have continued in and around Jerusalem. After Tuesday evening prayers, violence once again broke out in East Jerusalem, with rocks thrown at police officers who responded with tear gas and other “nonlethal crowd disposal methods,” police said in a statement. The Red Crescent said 13 people were treated that night after being hit by rubber bullets during protests.

On Wednesday, police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said journalists were being prevented from entering parts of Jerusalem’s Old City as part of efforts to lower tensions around the flashpoint holy site.

The continued standoff highlighted the deep distrust between Israel and the Palestinians when it comes to the shrine — the third-holiest site of Islam and the holiest of Judaism, once home to the biblical Temples.

 

Security measures, including cameras, which were installed outside the Lion’s Gate of the Old City, a main access point to the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem, July 24, 2017. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

The latest development could put Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a tough spot, as he tries to tamp out a wave of unrest that has triggered international pressure while not appearing to his right-wing base as capitulating.

His government has faced a growing backlash at home for what critics said was hasty decision-making and embarrassing policy reversals. Even Israel Hayom, a free daily owned by Netanyahu’s billionaire patron Sheldon Adelson, denounced Israel’s response to the crisis as “feeble and frightened.”

In an unprecedented headline, the paper — which has been an unequivocal source of support for the prime minister — led with “Netanyahu’s demonstration of helplessness.”

Israel has also found itself in a new scuffle with Turkey, whose leader President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been among its fiercest critics. On Tuesday, Erdogan accused Israel of using security measures as a pretext to take over holy sites in Jerusalem.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gesturing as he delivers a speech in Ankara, July 01, 2017. (AFP/ADEM ALTAN)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gesturing as he delivers a speech in Ankara, July 01, 2017. (AFP/ADEM ALTAN)

Israel’s foreign ministry responded by calling the comments “delusional, baseless and distorted.”

“The days of the Ottoman Empire are over,” it said. “He who lives in a palace of glass would be better off not throwing stones.”

Netanyahu’s office also chimed in, saying it wondered what Erdogan would have to say to Kurds and residents of north Cyprus. “Erdogan is the last one who can preach to Israel,” it said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Turkey’s foreign ministry called the Israeli statements “arrogant.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/muslim-leader-says-temple-mount-protests-to-go-on-until-measures-removed/

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Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers at Temple Mount.

Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers and newly installed metal detectors at an entrance to the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City July 16, 2017. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Inspecting a body on Friday near what Jews call the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The area, home to the complex of Al Aqsa Mosque, is Jerusalem’s holiest site for both faiths. This photo from just after the killing of Israelis on July 14, 2017. Credit Ammar Awad/Reuters

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The Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem.(Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Muslim cleric wants cameras removed from shrine

July 26, 2017

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on the escalation in Israel and the Palestinian territories over a contested Jerusalem holy site (all times local):

10:15 a.m.

A senior Muslim official in Jerusalem says worshippers won’t return to a contested shrine until Israel removes new railings and cameras it installed after a deadly attack there.

Ikrema Sabri says Wednesday that even after Israel removed metal detectors more steps were required. He says mass prayer protests would continue outside the site until the gates of the compound were opened and the metal railings and an iron bridge with cameras on it were removed.

Image result for Ekrima Sa'id Sabri, photos

Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Sabri — Former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine

Sabri, the head of the Supreme Islamic Committee, says a lawyer on behalf of the Muslim administration of the holy site will be in touch with Israeli police to demand the changes.

Israel installed new security measures after Arab gunmen shot and killed two police officers from within the site. Under international pressure, Israel removed the metal detectors.

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9:30 a.m.

Muslim worshippers have once again held their morning prayers outside Jerusalem’s most contested holy site despite Israel’s removal of the metal detectors that sparked the protest.

Wednesday’s prayers came a day after Israel seemingly capitulated to the demands of protesters. But Muslim religious leaders have called for prayers to continue outside until delicate arrangements at the site, holy to both Jews and Muslims, return to what they were before Israel installed new security measures. Those measures came after Arab gunmen shot and killed two police officers from within the site.

Israel says the measures are necessary to prevent further attacks while Palestinians claim Israel is trying to expand its control.

Israel decided to remove the metal detectors it installed. It says it plans to install new security cameras instead.

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Muslims Pray Outside Holy Site Despite Israeli Concessions — Palestinians claim Israel is trying to expand its control

July 26, 2017

JERUSALEM — Muslim worshippers have once again held their morning prayers outside Jerusalem’s most contested holy site despite Israel’s removal of the metal detectors that sparked the protest.

Wednesday’s prayers came a day after Israel seemingly capitulated to the demands of protesters. But Muslim religious leaders have called for prayers to continue outside until delicate arrangements at the site, holy to both Jews and Muslims, return to what they were before Israel installed new security measures. Those measures came after Arab gunmen shot and killed two police officers from within the site.

Israel says the measures are necessary to prevent further attacks while Palestinians claim Israel is trying to expand its control.

Israel decided to remove the metal detectors it installed. It says it plans to install new security cameras instead.

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In peaceful protest, Muslims pray outside Temple Mount

Jerusalem Waqf says no decision made about cameras slated to replace metal detectors; meanwhile, worshipers told to avoid the site

 July 25, 2017, 4:28 pm
Muslim worshippers pray at an entrance to the Temple Mount at the Lion's Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, July 25, 2017. Muslim worshippers still refused to pray on the Temple Mount following the government's decision remove the metal detectors and instead place more security cameras on the compound. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Muslim worshippers pray at an entrance to the Temple Mount at the Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, July 25, 2017. Muslim worshippers still refused to pray on the Temple Mount following the government’s decision remove the metal detectors and instead place more security cameras on the compound. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The head of the Jerusalem Waqf trust said Tuesday that his office would continue to tell Muslims to pray in the streets until the rollback of all new security measures enacted by Israel in the Temple Mount area.

Following noon prayers, which passed peacefully, Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib al-Tamimi told the Times of Israel that no decision had been made as to whether the Waqf, which administers the Temple Mount, would accept alternative security arrangements being put in place by Israel, including “smart cameras.”

Sheikh Azzam Khatib Tamimi, director of the Jerusalem’s awqaf department, commended Jordan’s efforts to safeguard the holy city’s identity (JT photo)

Muslim worshipers have stayed away from the sacred compound since Israel installed metal detectors there last week in the wake of a July 14 terror attack carried out with guns that had been smuggled onto the Mount. Instead, they have performed mass prayer protests outside the shrine, many of which devolved into clashes with Israeli security forces.

The detectors were removed early Tuesday morning, but metal railings and scaffolding placed by the police in recent days are still in the area where the metal detectors once stood, and Muslims are staying away in protest.

Israel’s security cabinet said it would replace the metal detectors with “advanced technologies,” referring reportedly to cameras that can detect hidden objects, but said the process could take up to six months.

The entrance to the Temple Mount near Lion's Gate, on July 25, 2017, after the removal of metal detectors and security cameras. (Raoul Wootliff/Times of Israel)

The entrance to the Temple Mount near Lion’s Gate, on July 25, 2017, after the removal of metal detectors and security cameras. (Raoul Wootliff/Times of Israel)

One Waqf official as well as other Muslim worshipers in the Old City claimed Israel had already placed new cameras inside the compound. Police declined to comment on whether cameras had been installed.

The metal detectors were set up by Israel following a July 14 attack in which three Arab Israeli assailants killed two Israeli police officers just outside the Temple Mount, having smuggled their weapons onto the site beforehand and having emerged from it to carry out the attack.

For midday services on Tuesday, hundreds of Palestinians prayed in a parking lot belonging to the Waqf, just inside the Lions Gate to the Old City, meters from the Gate of the Tribes entrance to the Mount.

Muslim worshipers participate in midday prayers in a parking lot near the Lions Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, refusing to enter the Temple Mount enclosure to reach the Al-Aqsa Mosque inside, July 25, 2017. (Dov Lieber /Times of Israel)

Muslim worshipers participate in midday prayers in a parking lot near the Lions Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, refusing to enter the Temple Mount enclosure to reach the Al-Aqsa Mosque inside, July 25, 2017. (Dov Lieber /Times of Israel)

Speakers used for the prayer service were placed on top of a car and the roof of a metal storage unit in which several cars were parked.

The prayers ended peacefully and the worshipers dispersed.

In addition to the Lions Gate, hundreds of Muslim worshipers attended afternoon prayers in Old City alleyways leading to the Temple Mount. At least 300 worshipers blocked the Al-Takiya Ascent next to the Mount.

Muslim women, protesting Israeli security measures at the Lions Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem and refusing to enter the Temple Mount enclosure to reach the Al-Aqsa Mosque inside, July 25, 2017. (Raoul Wootliff/Times of Israel)

Muslim women, protesting Israeli security measures at the Lions Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem and refusing to enter the Temple Mount enclosure to reach the Al-Aqsa Mosque inside, July 25, 2017. (Raoul Wootliff/Times of Israel)

In areas outside the Old City that saw violent clashes on Friday, worshipers also prayed in the streets, prostrating themselves on prayer mats brought from home. Those prayers also ended peacefully without disturbances or clashes with police.

Some worshipers said they were not prepared to accept any new security measures by Israel, including the smart cameras.

Many of the worshipers expressed fears of the cameras.

One worshiper, Ibrahim Mahmoud, said he was concerned that the cameras “would show the naked bodies” of those who passed by them.

Another worshiper worried that the new cameras might cause cancer.

“Israel wants to control who can enter the mosque. This is not a mall, it’s a mosque,” he said.

While some said they were avoiding entering because the Waqf had yet to permit it, Mahmoud said the protests were being organized by “the Jerusalem street, who come here to pray five times a day.”

“There is no Fatah or Hamas here. Just the people,” he said.

Raoul Wootliff contributed to this report.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-peaceful-protest-muslims-pray-outside-temple-mount/

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Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers at Temple Mount.

Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers and newly installed metal detectors at an entrance to the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City July 16, 2017. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Inspecting a body on Friday near what Jews call the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The area, home to the complex of Al Aqsa Mosque, is Jerusalem’s holiest site for both faiths. This photo from just after the killing of Israelis on July 14, 2017. Credit Ammar Awad/Reuters

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The Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem.(Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Jordan: Jordanians chant “death to Israel” as they attended the funeral Tuesday of a teenager shot dead by an Israeli embassy security guard

July 25, 2017

AFP

© AFP | Mourners attend the funeral of 17-year-old Mohammed Jawawdeh in Amman on July 25, 2017. Jawawdeh was killed at the weekend when he attacked a security guard at the Israeli embassy compound in the Jordanian capital with a screwdriver

AMMAN (AFP) – Thousands of Jordanians chanted “death to Israel” as they attended the funeral Tuesday of a teenager shot dead by an Israeli embassy security guard.

Mohammed Jawawdeh, 17, was killed Sunday after he assaulted the guard with a screwdriver at the embassy compound, according to Israeli officials.

A second Jordanian was also killed, apparently by accident, and will be buried Thursday.

The killings sparked a standoff between Israel and Jordan amid tensions over a highly sensitive Jerusalem holy site where Israel imposed new security measures after a deadly mid-July attack on police.

Mourners set off with Jawawdeh’s coffin from Wihdat city, home to a large Palestinian refugee camp east of Amman, towards the cemetery in nearby Umm al-Hiran, where he was buried.

They carried pictures of the 17-year-old along with Palestinian and Jordanian flags, and chanted “Death to Israel”.

“We will go to Jerusalem as martyrs by the millions,” they chanted.

Jawawdeh’s uncle, Sami, said the family is urging Jordan’s King Abdullah II to avenge his death “because he is the one who can decide in such matters”.

“Mohammed’s blood did not flow in vain,” he added, saying it paved the way for Israel’s removal early Tuesday of metal detectors at entrances to Jerusalem’s Haram al-Sharif mosque compound.

Israel had installed the devices following a July 14 attack nearby that killed two policemen.

The move, seen by Palestinians as an attempt to assert Israeli control over the site, triggered Muslim outrage and deadly violence.

Jordan is the official custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

King Abdullah of Jordan spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late Monday urging him to remove the devices.

Thousands of Jordanians had demonstrated against Israel in Amman and other cities, calling for “resistance” to “Zionist attacks” and demanding the cancellation of a 1994 peace treaty.

Also on Monday, the security guard and other diplomats flew home after Amman investigators heard “his account of the incident”, a Jordanian government source said.

Jordanian riot police deployed Tuesday morning around the Israeli embassy in a western Amman residential neighbourhood after activists posted online calls for an anti-Israel demonstration.

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Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers at Temple Mount.

Palestinians stand in front of Israeli police officers and newly installed metal detectors at an entrance to the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City July 16, 2017. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Inspecting a body on Friday near what Jews call the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The area, home to the complex of Al Aqsa Mosque, is Jerusalem’s holiest site for both faiths. This photo from just after the killing of Israelis on July 14, 2017. Credit Ammar Awad/Reuters

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The Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem.(Hadas Parush/Flash90)