Al Aqsa: Standoff at holy site after metal detectors removed


It sits on the fault line of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and triggered several major confrontations in the past.

The latest crisis came as bilateral ties were already strained following Israel's decision to erect metal detectors at the entrance to site in Jerusalem's Old City known to Jews as the Temple Mount and revered by Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif Noble Sanctuary, the site of the al-Aqsa mosque.

The installation of the metal detectors set off widespread protests and deadly Israeli-Palestinian violence over the past week. Large crowds of Muslims prayed outside the shrine in protest every day, refusing to pass through the metal detectors.

Municipal workers began work in some of the narrow stone-paved streets around the Aqsa compound to install overhead metal beams that will hold closed-circuit TV cameras.

The diplomatic crisis with Jordan over the embassy shooting lent more urgency to finding a solution.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to shut down the Jerusalem office of the Al-Jazeera's news network, he said Thursday.

In the current controversy, Israel maintains it installed the metal detectors as a safety measure after three Arab Israeli gunmen smuggled homemade machine guns into the al-Aqsa Mosque July 14, shooting and killing two Israeli policemen.

Israel has taken down metal detectors from entrances to a holy Jerusalem shrine to defuse a crisis that angered the Muslim world and triggered some of the worst clashes in years. Muslims argued the new measures were trying to increase control. Some 100m shekels ($28m) has been allocated to pay for new equipment and extra police officers، the statement said.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. ambassador, told reporters Monday that Palestinians will stay in the streets until "all obstacles" to allowing Muslims their right to pray at Al-Aqsa are "removed completely without conditions", including metal detectors and cameras which violate the status quo. Greenblatt then headed to Jordan. "We leave at 6:00 am and we return after the last prayers around 9:30 to 10:00 pm", Umm Maath, from Nazareth in northern Israel who has been coming with a group to pray outside in protest, said Wednesday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday urged Muslims to visit Jerusalem to protect the holy places.

Israel captured the Old City compound, along with other territories sought for a Palestinian state, in the 1967 war.

It was not clear if Aloul expressed the views of Abbas.

Under an agreement negotiated by the head of Israel's domestic security service, who had been sent to Amman to negotiate, Israel agreed that Jordanian police could hear the guard's description of the incident in the presence of Israeli diplomats. The crux of the issue has to do with sovereignty over East Jerusalem, which is an occupied territory under worldwide law. In the meantime, more police will be posted at the site.

They have looked to the clerics to make the tactical decisions, such as calling on worshippers not to enter the shrine until Israel restores the situation to what it was before the July 14 attack. At around the same time, it was announced that the embassy staff had returned to Israel. On Tuesday, thousands of Jordanians chanted "Death to Israel" at the funeral of the 17-year-old said to have attacked the guard.

But on Monday night, the guard and other diplomats arrived home after a deal that a Jordanian government source said also involved the mosque compound. Both Israel and Jordan denied such a trade-off had taken place.

"The government has been looking to give that up anyway", he says.