Jerusalem, July 25: Israel has removed the metal detectors, which were installed for the extra vigilance at the holy site of Al Aqsa Mosque. Minister of Culture Miri Regev said in a regrettable decision of removing metal detectors was due to ‘Incitement of Palestinians’.
While Israel authorities removed the metal detectors but replaced them with more advanced face recognition security cameras. To this Sheikh Najeh Bakirat, Director of Al-Aqsa Mosque said that the move does not fulfil the demands of the Muslim worshippers as the security cameras remain. After removal, Palestinians still protested against the security cameras which were installed.
Israel had set up the metal detectors after gunmen opened fire from the shrine, killing two Israeli policemen. It said they were a necessary measure to prevent more attacks and were deployed routinely at holy sites around the world. But Muslims alleged that Israel was trying to expand its control at the Muslim-administered site and have launched mass prayer protests.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet voted to remove the metal detector gates after a meeting lasting several hours convening for a second time on Monday.
On Friday, several thousand Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in the West Bank and in Jerusalem after noon prayers. Three Palestinians were killed and several dozens wounded. On the same evening, 20 –year old identified as Omar al-Abed entered a home in Halamish settlement, where a family was having their traditional Sabbath dinner. He stabbed to death Yosef Salomon, 70, and his adult children, 46-year-old Chaya and 35-year-old Elad. A neighbour, an off-duty soldier, heard the screams, rushed to the home and opened fire, wounding the attacker.
The police installed the metal detectors at the entrance of Temple Mount after the shooting attack on July 14, in which two Border Police officers were murdered and another was moderately wounded. The three terrorists, all residents of Umm al-Fahm, were shot to death. The police then ordered Temple Mount closed to the public and announced the cancellation of Friday prayers, the first such cancellation in years.