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The Latest: Muslims Urged to Stay Away from Jerusalem Shrine

The Latest: Muslims Urged to Stay Away from Jerusalem Shrine

Tuesday, 25 July 2017 05:14 AM

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

11:10 a.m.

A senior cleric says Muslims should stay away from a major Jerusalem shrine, pending a review of the new Israeli security arrangements there.

Ikrema Sabri, the head of the Supreme Islamic Committee in the city, said such a review might be completed later on Tuesday.

Muslim worshippers have stayed away from the sacred compound since Israel installed metal detectors there last week. Instead, they performed mass prayer protests outside the shrine, which is revered by both Muslims and Jews.

Earlier Tuesday, Israel's security Cabinet said it would replace the metal detectors with "advanced technologies," reportedly cameras that can detect hidden objects, but said this could take up to six months.

Sabri told The Associated Press that "our position is that for now, nobody should enter" the shrine.

10:00 a.m.

An Israeli security Cabinet minister says the decision to remove metal detectors from a contested Jerusalem shrine corrected the mistake of placing them there in the first place.

Yoav Galant was the lone Cabinet member to vote against the original decision to upgrade security measures at the site after Arab attackers opened fire from it earlier this month, killing two Israeli policemen.

He acknowledged that as a member of the Cabinet he bore "collective responsibility" for the initial decision.

He told Israel's Army Radio on Tuesday that the removal marks a "fixing of a previous mistake."

Israel has defended the metal detectors as a necessary security measure to prevent further attacks. Muslims claimed Israel's real goal was to expand control at the site and subsequently launched mass protests.

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8:10 a.m.

Israel has begun dismantling metal detectors it installed a week earlier at the gates of a contested Jerusalem shrine following widespread Muslim protests.

The removal is meant to defuse escalating tensions between Israel and the Muslim world, including key security ally Jordan. The kingdom is the Muslim custodian of the shrine that is also holy to Jews.

It remains unclear if Muslim religious leaders will accept a decision by Israel's security Cabinet early on Tuesday to replace the metal detectors with "sophisticated technology," reportedly cameras that can detect hidden objects.

Israel installed the metal detectors in response to an Arab attack that killed two Israeli police guards at the Muslim-administered holy site.

Muslims alleged Israel was expanding control at the site under the guise of security. Israel has denied this.

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The Latest on the escalation in Israel and the Palestinian territories over a contested Jerusalem holy site (all times local):11:10 a.m.A senior cleric says Muslims should stay away from a major Jerusalem shrine, pending a review of the new Israeli security arrangements...
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2017-14-25
Tuesday, 25 July 2017 05:14 AM
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