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Jerusalem: Israel installs security cameras at holy site

Jerusalem: Israel installs security cameras at holy site

The report comes amid spiraling tensions in Jerusalem, where Israeli authorities restricted access to the Temple Mount - home to Muslim holy sites such as the Al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock - by installing metal detectors and fencing in and around the area.

According to Israeli television Channel 2, Israeli police chose to remove metal detectors as of Saturday night and use handheld detectors instead.

Non-Muslim visitors wait to enter the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City July 24, 2017.

An Israeli border police officer holds a stun grenade in his hand while Palestinian teenagers pray in the street near an entrance to al-Aqsa mosque.

Netanyahu and his supporters said the metal scanners were needed after three Arab Israeli gunmen smuggled homemade machine guns into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on July 14, then shot and killed two Israeli policemen at the site, which both Muslims and Jews regard as holy.

Israel Police said they are treating the incident as a nationalistic attack on an Israeli target.

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.

In a face-saving compromise, and after Netanyahu spoke to Jordan's King Abdullah II and others, Israel's security Cabinet announced on Monday that in place of the metal detectors, it would employ nonintrusive "advanced technologies" - reportedly smart cameras that can detect hidden objects.

"We will enable everybody to come and pray on the Temple Mount, but at the same time we will do whatever is necessary to maintain security of this important site", Israeli U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon said ahead of the meeting.

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Discontent over the Israeli moves, Muslims rallied across the Middle East.

"Al Aqsa Mosque is not a place where you put security gates and you feel like it's an Israeli institution".

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said some cameras remained "as part of the security measures to prevent terror attacks" in and around the Old City.

Mahmoud Aloul, a senior official in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, said Tuesday that any changes to the previous arrangements are unacceptable.

However, the move provoked protests, the BBC reported. Erdogan called for calm and said attacking places of worship was "a big mistake".

I asked Security Council Member States to use their influence with all sides in order to encourage them to de-escalate, to ensure that while security is provided for worshippers and visitors to the holy sites in Jerusalem, the status quo that has been established since 1967 is preserved for all.

The security agency said the incident began when two Jordanians arrived at a residential building housing embassy staff to set up bedroom furniture. He says mass prayer protests would continue outside the site until the gates of the compound were opened and the metal railings and an iron bridge with cameras on it were removed.

On Tuesday, massive anti-Israel rallies also broke out in neighboring Jordan - one of only two Arab countries to have a formal peace treaty with Tel Aviv - after a local teenager was shot dead in a scuffle with an Israeli embassy security guard on Sunday.