Israel installs new security cameras at Aqsa entrance amid crisis

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 26, 2017

And an assault in the Israeli embassy compound in Amman, Jordan, on a security guard, proved fatal for one of his attackers but deepened the crisis.

The holy site is located in East Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed in a move never recognised by the worldwide community.

King Abdullah II has frequently protested Israeli measures, including restrictions on the access of Muslim worshippers and police raids of the compound to disperse Palestinian stone-throwers.

Before midnight, heavy machinery began to enter the area of the Al-Aqsa mosque, prompting concern among local residents who have been protesting new security measures at the site for the past week.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) denounced on Monday Israel's closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and installation of metal detectors at the site.

Jews revere the compound as the place where two ancient temples once stood. Israel responded by closing the site to search for weapons for two days and then installing metal detectors and more recently cameras.

Israel installed new security cameras at the entrance to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday, as officials said they were considering alternatives to metal detectors that sparked deadly clashes.

A statement from the Prime Minister's Office said the security cabinet agreed to incorporate security measures based on advanced technologies and other measures to replace metal detectors in order to ensure the security of visitors and worshippers. The new security system is to be set up in the next six months at a cost of $28 million. On that day, three Arab gunmen opened fire from the shrine at Israeli police guards, killing two before being shot dead.

Muslim leaders said they would only call off the protests once they made sure Israel had restored the situation to what it was before the latest crisis.

And the dispute has spilled beyond the borders of Jerusalem, drawing a condemnation from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and prompting a conversation between the Jordanian and Israeli leaders.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had made a decision to keep the metal detectors during a previous meeting on Thursday, despite concerns about the potential for violence as thousands of worshippers prayed in the streets during Friday's weekly congregational prayers.

The walled Old City is part of East Jerusalem that Israel captured from Jordan in a 1967 war and later annexed, declaring the city its "eternal indivisible capital" in a move not recognised internationally.

The following year clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces around the site quickly led to unrest elsewhere in Jerusalem, across Israel and in the West Bank that have continued intermittently till now. Three Israelis were also killed in an attack in a settlement in the West Bank.

A crowd of Jordanians gathered at one of the funerals on Tuesday and called on their government to close the Israeli Embassy.

Palestinians saw it as a bid to wrest control of the holy site from Jordan, the Muslim authority that administers it.

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