POLICE OFFICERS man a metal detector placed this week at an entrance to the Temple Mount.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The Israeli Security Cabinet met Monday night to discuss the options regarding the metal detectors that were placed at the entrance to the Temple Mount following the terror attack which killed two policemen.
The Cabinet came to the decision to remove the metal detectors after accepting security body suggestions. In place of the detectors, advanced technological equipment will be put in place in order to increase the security at the site.
The Cabinet decided to increase police presence until the transfer had been completed in order to maintain visitors security. The Cabinet decided to implement a budget of 100 million shekels in order to implement the plan.
This technological solution is the result of intensive discussions the police held over the last week with leading security firms to find an alternative to the metal detectors that enraged the Palestinians and part of the Muslim world and threatened to trigger a new round of violence.
The technology – which will cost in the hundreds of millions of shekels – also reportedly includes face identification software.
The police were also expected to present the security cabinet with a plan to significantly increase the number of officers in the Old City and around the Temple Mount.
The metal detectors were installed some 10 days ago following the murder of two Border Policemen by three Israeli Arabs who had smuggled weapons into the Temple Mount. Once the metal detectors were placed at the scene, the worshippers refused to pass through them, and nightly prayers – often accompanied by clashes with the police – took place near the Lion's Gate.
The decision comes several hours after Israeli Embassy staff returned from Jordan following an attack on a security officer at the embassy. The incident in Jordan led the Embassy to a lockdown.
Herb Keinon and Michael Wilner contributed to this article.