What's the issue with metal detectors in Jerusalem?

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 25, 2017

Authorities said they were needed because the attackers smuggled the weapons, BBC reports.

Jordan said he can only leave the country after an investigation.

Jordan has said it wanted to question the guard, but Israel is insisting he had diplomatic immunity.

On Thursday, the Turkish leader had urged his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin to swiftly remove metal detectors to end the tensions. A statement by the Jordanian government said that the king had stressed "the need to cancel the measures Israel introduced since the beginning of the crisis and the need to reach agreement between the sides to prevent similar escalation in the future".

The crisis, which saw a weekend of deadly violence, was also discussed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah II of Jordan, a day after an Israeli guard at its embassy in Amman shot two Jordanians dead after an attack. "It is as if they are saying that they don't want to deal with the Awqaf, so they're going to take matters into their own hands and monitor Palestinians through the cameras", Mohammad Abu al-Hommos, a Palestinian activist in Jerusalem's Old City, told Al Jazeera. "All are well. The return of the Embassy personnel was made possible thanks to the close cooperation that took place over the past 24 hours between Israel and Jordan". Cameras have been installed at entrances in a possible indication of an alternative to the metal detectors.

Jordan is the Muslim custodian of the shrine, which is also holy to Jews. The walled compound is third holiest site of Islam and the holiest of Judaism, once home to biblical Temples.

President Donald Trump's Mideast envoy, Jason Greenblatt, met with Netanyahu before the decision was announced, a sign of the first direct involvement of the US administration since the crisis began.

Israel unilaterally imposed the new security measures after a gun and knife attack killed two Israeli policemen on 14 July, a move seen as challenging the delicate status quo of the holy site.

"... giving in to metal detectors would in a way be seen as conceding to Israel's assertion of its sovereignty over the holy site and by extension to whole of Jerusalem", he said from San Diego in California.

"We condemn all Israeli measures that deprive the Palestinian people of their right to perform acts of worship and reject all obstacles that prevent worship, which is the right of all global conventions".

Friday's main weekly Muslim prayers - which typically draw thousands to Al-Aqsa - brought the situation to a boil.Clashes erupted between Israeli security forces and Palestinians around the Old City, elsewhere in annexed east Jerusalem and in the occupied West Bank, leaving three Palestinians dead.

The fate of the holy compound is at the heart of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

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