Published: Wed, July 26, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Israel Dismantles Controversial Metal Detectors At Jerusalem Holy Site

Israel Dismantles Controversial Metal Detectors At Jerusalem Holy Site

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on July 26 that the removal of metal detectors from the entrances to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City was a right move but not enough.

Ikrema Sabri, head of the Supreme Islamic Committee, said that even after Israel removed metal detectors from the site more steps were required to restore calm.

The security measures incensed many Muslim worshippers, who had to pass through the metal detectors in order to pray there.

Jordan is the official custodian of holy Muslim sites in Jerusalem. "Now we are awaiting the response of the police".

"Israel is attempting to damage the Islamic character of Jerusalem with new practices every day by taking advantage of the current weakness of Muslims", Erdoğan said.

Israel installed the detectors at entry points to Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem after two police guards were fatally shot on July 14, setting off the bloodiest clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in years.

Mladenov said it is "critically important" that the status quo which has been in place at the site since 1967 is preserved.

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Hence the Palestinians reject Israel's authority, its heavy security presence and the unilateral move on metal detectors.

It installed the detectors at entrances to the site following a July 14 attack nearby that killed two Israeli policemen.

Security forces removed the devices from a compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and Jews as Temple Mount during a pre-dawn operation ordered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Low-level clashes have continued in and around Jerusalem.

"There's a sense among the American Muslim population that others are beginning to understand them and beginning to sympathize with them, '" said Amaney Jamal, a Princeton University political scientist and adviser to Pew researchers.

Al-Aqsa, one of Islam's holiest sites and a symbol for Palestinians seeking their own state, is built on a compound revered by Jews as the vestige of their two ancient temples.

His government has faced a growing backlash at home for what critics said was hasty decision-making and embarrassing policy reversals.

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Amid global concern over the rising tensions, the office of the Israeli prime minister said on Tuesday that it would replace the detectors with "advanced technologies and other means".

When Israel captured the area, it committed itself to that agreement.

He also highlighted the importance of agreeing on the measures in the future to prevent the recurrence of such escalations and to ensure respect for the historical and legal situation in the holy site, the statement said.

Israel's foreign ministry responded by calling the comments "delusional, baseless and distorted".

"The days of the Ottoman Empire have passed".

The tensions in Jerusalem have kindled protests in Turkey, with Turkish media reporting that some protesters kicked the doors and threw stones at a synagogue in Istanbul.

Netanyahu's office also chimed in, saying it wondered what Erdogan would have to say to Kurds and residents of north Cyprus. A Jordanian bystander was also killed from the shots, according to Israel's Broadcasting Corporation, or IBC.

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