Tags: jerusalem | metal | detectors | removed

Jerusalem Metal Detectors Removed From Mosque Entries

Image: Jerusalem Metal Detectors Removed From Mosque Entries
Metal detectors being dismantled. (Reuters)

Tuesday, 25 Jul 2017 10:25 AM

Metal detectors at a Jerusalem holy site were being removed on Tuesday, said Israeli officials, and will be replaceed with less obtrusive surveillance means. It was an about-face for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Cabinet.

Israel installed the metal detectors at entry points to Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City after two police officers were fatally shot on July 14, triggering the bloodiest clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in years, reported Reuters.

The spike in tensions and the deaths of three Israelis and four Palestinians in violence on Friday and Saturday have triggered international alarm and prompted the United Nations Security Council to convene a meeting to seek ways of calming the situation.

Netanyahu's Cabinet voted to remove the metal detector gates after a meeting lasting several hours was reconvened for a second time on Monday.

A statement issued after the forum of senior ministers concluded their meeting said they had decided to act on the recommendation of the security bodies and replace the metal detectors with "smart checking" means.

Reuters witnesses in the Old City saw municipal workers installing metal beams above some of the narrow stone paved streets for closed-circuit TV cameras. Israeli media said there were plans to invest in advanced camera systems.

The Cabinet statement added that it had allocated 100 million shekels (about $28 million) for the equipment and for additional police officers.

Tuesday's decision to remove the metal detector gates was an about-turn after Netanyahu, wary of being seen to capitulate to Palestinian pressure, said on Sunday the devices would stay put.

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 international criticism put pressure on Israel.

Netanyahu was further hampered following a fatal shooting incident at the Israeli embassy in Jordan on Sunday when an Israeli security guard was attacked and shot dead two Jordanians.

Jordan is the custodian of Jerusalem's Muslim holy sites, which Jews revere as the vestige of their two ancient temples and which was among East Jerusalem areas Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed as its capital in a move not recognized internationally.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Metal detectors at a Jerusalem holy site were being removed on Tuesday, said Israeli officials, and will be replaceed with less obtrusive surveillance means. It was an about-face for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Cabinet.
jerusalem, metal, detectors, removed
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2017-25-25
Tuesday, 25 Jul 2017 10:25 AM
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