Netanyahu: Metal Detectors Will Remain, We Must Prevent Weapons on Temple Mount

Lynne Hanson
July 21, 2017

Jerusalem's top Muslim cleric has called on all of the city's mosques to be closed on Friday to protest new Israeli security measures at the Al Aqsa Mosque.

In a move that is expected to exacerbate the tension, the Jordanian-run Islamic Waqf announced the closure of all mosques in eastern Jerusalem, forcing thousands of Muslims to join prayer protests in the streets.

Muslims have been boycotting the holy site after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors and cameras at entrances to the sensitive compound following an attack Friday that killed two policemen.

The conflict escalated Tuesday night after evening prayers when Israeli forces attempted to disperse a crowd of worshippers near Lion's gate. He said that several talks were held over the past few days about the metal detectors with the Israeli security and defense officials.

The compound houses the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock shrine, Islam's third holiest site after Mecca and Medina.

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The Palestinian militant group Hamas has called for mass protests on Friday against Israeli metal detectors placed at a contested Jerusalem holy site.

The murdered and wounded police officers were Druze, according to Naftali Bennett, Israel's education minister. Now only individuals can enter through metal detectors which has sparked outrage in the Muslim community. The king asked Netanyahu to reopen the Temple Mount to worshipers and underlined that the attack should not be exploited to undermine stability and harm security.

Israeli authorities say almost 50 Israelis have been killed in attacks by Palestinians during the same period. On Sunday the police chose to open the Mount compound once again, but insisted that the Muslim worshipers pass through metal detectors stationed at the entrances. Palestinians say the attacks stem from anger over decades of Israeli occupation of territories they claim for their future state. Areas [are] quiet and security measures continue. No further information was immediately available on the attacker's identity. The ruins of the Biblical Jewish Temple are also found within the holy complex.

Zeev Elkin, the Cabinet minister responsible for issues connected with Jerusalem, told the radio station the attack was possible because of Israel's desire to allow freedom of worship to Muslims and others at the site.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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