Israel considers alternatives to metal detectors as clashes over Temple Mount resume

As the standoff between rioters and security forces is reignited, government officials say that Israel is mulling other options to ensure the safety of visitors to the holy site.

July 22, 2017 21:25
2 minute read.
Temple Mount clash

A Palestinian woman argues with an Israeli border policeman at the entrance to the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City . (photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)


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A day after violent altercations between security forces and Palestinian demonstrators saw three Palestinians shot dead in Jerusalem and in the West Bank, the clashes between security forces and rioters resumed Saturday evening around the greater Jerusalem area.

Several masked perpetrators hurled rocks at policemen in the Arab-majority neighborhood of A-Tur in east Jerusalem. Forces fended off the attack using riot dispersal means.

Near the Mount of Olives, demonstrators hurled rocks and glass bottles at security forces and were dispersed as well.

Police also said that masked rioters hurled rocks and threw a burning tire down the road in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiya.
In the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat protesters hurled rocks at security forces.

No injuries were reported and police said that they managed to contain most of the protests. Jerusalem police said that it is preparing backup in expectation of an escalation.

The government's security cabinet is slated to hold a discussion Sunday regarding the mounting tensions between Israel and the Palestinians over the government's decision to install metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem following last week's deadly terror attack in which two Israeli policemen were killed by three Muslim terrorists.

Channel 10 reported Saturday night that Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan is expected to talk to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in order to check out alternatives to the metal detectors, including the option of using full body scanners but without conducting an invasive inspection of visitors to the site.

"In these days we are examining options and additional alternatives [to the metal detectors] that will ensure safety and prevent a terror attack from happening again," Maj.-Gen. Yoav Poly Mordechai, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, told BBC Arabic on Saturday night.

"We have ideas, including the removal of the magnometers which are solely a security solution, and we'll see what the existing alternatives are," he added.
Riots near the Temple Mount (Courtesy)

"I want to call on our neighbors in Arab countries, and on Muslims in general: If someone has an idea how to prevent another attack and promise worshipers that there won't be more terror attacks, ahlan wa sahalan [i.e. hello and you're welcome in Arabic]," Mordechai said, fending off the harsh criticism that came from leaders in the Arab world since Israel introduced the new security measures to the holy site.

When asked if perhaps Palestinians should be in charge of security checks at the entrance to the Temple Mount, Mordechai answered cynically: "And maybe they should be from England or France?"

"When there's a political solution [created by] politicians then we'll see who will be there [to conduct the security checkups]. The Wakf, too, has responsibility, a moral responsibility and a religious responsibility for a mistake not to happen at the Temple Mount," Mordechai added.

"We don't want to change the status quo. End of story," Moredachi stressed firmly in reactions to claims that Israel has indeed been changing the situation on the ground in the past week.

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