The White House.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration on Tuesday night welcomed Israel's decision to remove metal detectors from entrances to the Temple Mount, after introduction of the new security measure led to violence regionwide.
The Israeli government chose to remove the newly installed metal detectors at Haram al-Sharif– one of the holiest sites in Islam– "despite the demonstrated need to enhance security," Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement, "in the wake of the murder of two Israeli police officers at the site on July 14."
"The United States applauds the efforts of Israel to maintain security while reducing tensions in the region," Sanders continued.
Earlier in the day, State Department spokesman Heather Nauert said the US would support any actions from Israel and the Palestinians that would deescalate the situation, after tensions led to bloodshed on both sides last Friday.
"Anything that serves to de-escalate tensions and pave the road for the two sides to come together and have conversations not only about this, but also about the peace process moving forward, we would certainly support that," Nauert said. "As you know, we support the maintenance of the status quo at that site and we welcome all sides and their commitment to the status quo."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to remove the metal detectors– which fast became a symbol to Palestinians of Israeli control of the holy plateau– and to opt for high-tech, high-resolution cameras, instead.
Nauert declined to comment on whether the US considers the introduction of these cameras to be a violation of the status quo on the Temple Mount.