Jerusalem, July 20: Israel will not remove metal detectors from the Temple Mount at the current time, but will continuously reevaluate the situation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday. Despite the Muslim protested to take off the metal detectors, Israel Public Security Minister asserted that metal detectors placed at a contested Jerusalem shrine after a deadly attack there are essential to maintaining security.
“We want to solve this crisis in the quietest way possible and to bring back the calm,” Netanyahu said. Meanwhile on Sunday Jerusalem installed the metal detectors outside the Al Aqsa Mosque after the deadly attack over Temple Mount that claimed the lives of two Israeli security forces. Though Temple Mount was reopened for the worshippers, Palestinians protested the new metal detectors placed at the entrance of the mosque.
After decades, it has happened that the holy site has been closed for the worshippers for their security but the Palestinians and the Israeli Arabs have offended this new security move imposed by Jerusalem authorities. Israel said that the metal detectors set up outside the Old City’s Lions Gate and the Majlis Gate were a part of tightened security measures in Jerusalem’s Old City after the attack. In addition, police will install cameras outside the esplanade to monitor the compound.
Also, the Al Aqsa Mosque Officials have rejected new security measures. Muslim religious authorities also refused to pray there after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors and additional closed-circuit television cameras.
Senior Officials from Muslim Waqf urged worshippers to remain outside the compound in protest rather than pass through the metal detectors. While dozens of worshippers gathered to pray, they all held midday prayers just feet away from the metal detectors.
Director of Al Aqsa Mosque, Omar Kiswani said that "The closure of al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the occupation in itself and the prevention of the call for prayers are all unfair and unjust and constitute a violation to the United Nations resolutions and the international agreements. We hold the Israeli government responsible for the changes they have made in the al-Aqsa Mosque and taking its control away from us. We will stay outside the mosque until we get back the way it was taken from us."
“The Israelis have imposed severe security restrictions on the Muslim worshipers,’’ said Omar Kiswani. “We urge them to pray outside the gates of the mosque until the Israeli authority removes all the security measures and things will go back to normal.”
Opposing the newly implemented Israeli security moves, Palestinians Authority and religious officials held an emergency meeting in Ramallah to discuss the security measures and called on Arab and Muslim nations to intervene against the Israeli moves. Palestinian Authority called Israeli measures as ‘violation of the sanctity of Al Aqsa Mosque.’
The US already condemned the terror attack and also backed the installing of new security measures. Three Palestinian assailants opened fire on Israeli police from inside a major Jerusalem holy site on Friday, gravely wounding two officers before being shot dead, police said. After the attack, Israel closed the site known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount for further weapons sweeps.