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The Latest: Israel Says Metal Detectors to Remain at Shrine

The Latest: Israel Says Metal Detectors to Remain at Shrine

Friday, 21 July 2017 05:25 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on developments in Israel (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

Israeli police say metal detectors will remain in place at a contested Jerusalem shrine, but suggested police may at times choose to only conduct spot checks.

The detectors were installed at the shrine earlier this week, after Palestinian gunmen carried out a deadly attack there.

Muslim leaders allege the metal detectors are part of a purported Israeli plan to expand its control over the Muslim-administered site that is also revered by Jews. Israel denies this.

On Friday, the metal detectors remained in place.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri says "Israeli police can decide on the level of checks," suggesting spot checks are a possibility.

At Lion's Gate, one of the flashpoints, an officer told worshippers Friday they wouldn't be checked ahead of noon prayers, an offer they rejected.

11:15 a.m.

A senior Palestinian official says Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has asked the United States to "intervene urgently" and compel Israel to remove metal detectors from a contested Jerusalem shrine.

Nabil Abu Rdeneh said Friday that Abbas discussed the growing tensions in Jerusalem in a phone call with Trump's top adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Abu Rdeneh says Abbas told Kushner that the situation is "extremely dangerous and may go out of control" unless Israel removes the metal detectors.

Israeli police installed the metal detectors at gates to the shrine, revered by Muslims and Jews, after Palestinians carried out a deadly attack from there. Muslim leaders have called for protest, alleging that the security measures are part of a purported Israeli campaign to expand its control over the site.

10:35 a.m.

Israeli security forces have set up a series of checkpoints to restrict access to Jerusalem's Old City, where Muslim leaders have called for protests at a contested shrine.

Police announced that Muslim men under the age of 50 are banned from the site Friday.

Typically, tens of thousands of Muslims from Jerusalem, the West Bank and Israel converge on the shrine for Friday prayers.

On Friday, Palestinians below 50 were turned away at Israeli checkpoints between the West Bank and Jerusalem. An Arab lawmaker in Israel's parliament says he and fellow Arab citizens were stopped by police on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

The latest escalation was triggered by metal detectors, installed by Israel at the shrine after a deadly Palestinian attack there. Muslim leaders have called for protests.

9:30 a.m.

A spokesman has confirmed reports that Israel's government has decided not to overrule an earlier police decision to install metal detectors at a contested Jerusalem holy shrine.

Spokesman David Keyes says the decision was made early Friday by Israel's security Cabinet after an overnight meeting.

The decision to defer to police came amid reports of disagreement among Israel's security services about the need for the metal detectors, which were installed after Palestinian gunmen carried out a deadly attack from the shrine last week.

Muslims have called for mass protests later Friday.

The military and the Shin Bet security services, which deal directly with Palestinians, were reportedly opposed to the devices.

The Cabinet decision came despite appeals by Israel's security ally Jordan, custodian of the shrine, to remove the detectors.

9:15 a.m.

An advocacy group says Israeli police have detained 10 prominent Palestinian activists in Jerusalem, including the leader of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement in the city.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club says the city's Fatah chief, Hatem Abdel Khader, was among those detained.

Israeli police were not available for comment.

The detentions came ahead of expected Palestinian mass protests over Israel's decision to install metal detectors at a contested holy site in Jerusalem. Muslim leaders have urged worshippers to pray in the streets Friday rather than walk through metal detectors.

Israel installed the devices after Palestinian gunmen launched a deadly attack from there.

Muslim leaders allege the metal detectors are part of a purported Israeli attempt to expand control over the site.

Israel has denied such allegations.

8 a.m.

An Israeli police spokesman says police are banning Muslim men under the age of 50 from a contested Jerusalem shrine ahead of feared mass protests over the installation of metal detectors there.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Friday that reinforcements are being deployed in and around Jerusalem's Old City, where the walled shrine is located.

He says: "Police and border police units mobilized in all areas and neighborhoods."

Muslim leaders have called for mass protests at Friday noon prayers. They urged worshippers to pray outside the shrine rather than submit to security procedures.

The shrine is revered by Muslims and Jews. Muslim leaders allege Israel is trying to expand its control there by installing the security devices. Police took the action after Palestinians launched a deadly attack from there.

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The Latest on developments in Israel (all times local):11:30 a.m.Israeli police say metal detectors will remain in place at a contested Jerusalem shrine, but suggested police may at times choose to only conduct spot checks.The detectors were installed at the shrine earlier...
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Friday, 21 July 2017 05:25 AM
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