Cabinet votes to remove metal detectors from holy site in Jerusalem

Cabinet votes to remove metal detectors from holy site in Jerusalem”

Israel began Tuesday to dismantle metal detectors it installed a week earlier at a contested Jerusalem shrine, hoping to defuse a crisis with the Muslim world, including security ally Jordan, the Muslim custodian of the holy site.

Israel's security cabinet announced early Tuesday it would remove the metal detectors and use "sophisticated technology" instead.

The Islamic Waqf, the Islamic Endowment from Jordan charged with protection of the al-Aqsa mosque compound, said it would not be satisfied until "all manifestations of aggression by the Zionist occupation are removed and the situation returns to what it was like before July 14", the day three Palestinian gunmen were shot dead after shooting and killing two Israeli police officers near the mosque compound, sparking Israel's move to install extra security in the area. Authorities said they were needed because the attackers smuggled the weapons, BBC reports.

"Anyone who has the opportunity should visit Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa mosque", Erdogan said in Ankara.

The Security Council took no action but France's U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said there was "a large convergence among council members that all of us carry a message to the parties towards de-escalation" and cooperation "to work out as soon as possible a way out of the crisis".

Mansour said the Security Council should condemn in the strongest terms the closing of Al-Aqsa mosque for the first time since 1969, stressing that "Al Aqsa mosque should not be closed under any pretext". "The attack on Neve Shalom synagogue, which is a place of worship for our Jewish citizens who have been this country's fellow nationals for many centuries, can not be an answer to Israel's terror policies", HDP deputy parliamentary group chair Ahmet Yıldırım said on July 24.

It said an argument erupted between the son of the owner and the embassy guard because of a delay in delivering the furniture.

Erdogan welcomed the decision by Israel to remove the metal detectors at the Jerusalem shrine, but said Turkey would not accept measures that treat Muslims wanting to pray as "terrorists".

Before dawn Tuesday, workers were seen dismantling one of the devices at the Old City's Lion's Gate, a recent flashpoint and a scene of nightly mass prayer protests by Muslim worshippers.

Israel said the guard had diplomatic immunity and both he and all the staff were confined to the embassy compound amid attempts to find a solution.

The move incensed the Muslim world, amid allegations that Israel was trying to expand control over the site under the guise of security - a claim Israel denies.

"Amman authorised the Israeli diplomat to leave the country after hearing his account of the incident... and after reaching an understanding with the (Israeli) government on Al-Aqsa", a Jordanian government source said.

"It does not make sense to attack synagogues here because something has happened at al-Aqsa mosque".

Since Friday, five Palestinians have been killed and hundreds injured in riots over the new security measures.

Four Palestinians were killed in the clashes and three Israelis were killed on Friday night, when they were stabbed inside their home in a West Bank settlement.

The mosque compound has served as a rallying cry for Palestinians.

Palestinians have based their objection to any new security measures at the holy site on the insistence that a delicate balance of prayer and visiting rights, known as the "status quo" be preserved.

But on top of the outbreak of violence mainly in the Jerusalem area, a Palestinian move on Friday by President Mahmoud Abbas to suspend official contacts and worldwide criticism put pressure on Israel.

In 2000, a visit to it by then Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon helped ignite the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

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