Riots feared as Israel decides to keep Temple Mount metal detectors

JTA

(JTA) — Thousands of Israeli soldiers and troops were deployed in eastern Jerusalem following the riots and the government’s decision to keep in place indefinitely metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount.

Some 42 people were wounded in clashes Thursday night between security forces and Palestinian protesters, who rioted during rallies against the introduction of metal detectors last week, Army Radio reported.

The metal detectors were placed at the entrance to the Temple Mount compound, which contains the Haram al Sharif area that is holy to Muslims, after three Arab Israeli terrorists killed two police officers near the mosque on July 14, before being killed themselves by troops who pursued the assailants.

On Friday morning, the office of Israel’s transportation and intelligence minister, Israel Katz, published a statement confirming that the decision on the detectors by the “cabinet on security and foreign relations,” a reference to a forum of decision makers from within the Israeli government that includes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Katz, among others.

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“The cabinet has decided to keep in place all the measures decided upon following the lowly attack, including the use of metal detectors,” Katz said. “The Israel Police is responsible for implementing this policy.”

On Friday, thousands of man chanted about Allah and their devotion to the Al Aqsa mosque, which is in the Haram al Sharif compound.

The Palestinian leadership and several other Arab leaders called the use of metal detectors a provocation. According to Army Radio, Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, on Thursday called Jared Kushner, a special advisor to President Donald Trump and the man whom Trump said would try to promote peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and asked him to make sure Israel removers the devices.

The police said it would not allow Muslim worshipers younger than 50 to pray at the mosque today but that women of all ages would be allowed to enter the compound.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that 36 of the protesters were taken to the hospital for treatment. Two of them were in serious condition after being hit by rubber bullets, the group said.

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