Israel Installs Security Cameras on the Temple Mount

Bill Rogers
July 21, 2017

Israeli officials reopened the Temple Mount following Friday's deadly attack, but members of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, the Islamic custodian of the compound, protested the new security measures by instigating scuffles, blocking entrances and calling on Muslim worshippers to protest the move.

He called for an end to the occupation and "returning Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque to Palestinian and Islamic hands, granting the Palestinian people their rights and establishing a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital".

Palestinians have been refusing to enter the Haram al- Sharif compound in annexed east Jerusalem since Sunday, when Israel began installing metal detectors at entrances to the site following an attack that killed two police officers.

During that period, Israeli forces have killed more than 254 Palestinians, a lot of them said by Israel to be attackers while others were killed in clashes with Israeli forces.

There are divisions among the Israelis, with the police and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan in favor of leaving the metal detectors in place, while the Shin Bet and the IDF favor removing them, fearing widespread unrest if they remain.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the decision to install the metal detectors and cameras following a meeting with security officials on Saturday.

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The New York Times quoted Sheikh Muhammed Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, as saying "we insist on reaching Al Aqsa Mosque and performing prayers there".

A call to prayer rang out from Al-Aqsa, but Muslim worshipers held midday prayers outside the site in protest at the new security measures.

Witnesses say hundreds of Palestinians protested the restrictions at the Kalandia checkpoint that separates Jerusalem from Ramallah. The gunmen, all from the Arab city of Umm al-Fahm in central Israel, were subsequently shot and killed by the police.

Erdan commented on the report that the Shin Bet was opposed to the idea of placing metal detectors at the holy site. Proposals to change security measures at the compound have sparked controversy in the past. No further information was immediately available on the attacker's identity.

Israeli authorities are undertaking security upgrades at the site, drawing criticism from the Palestinians. The ruins of the Biblical Jewish Temple are also found within the holy complex.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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