Reasonable security measures became the focus of Muslim protests as Israel continues to reel from Friday’s horrific Temple Mount terror attack.
In response to the brutal Temple Mount attack on Friday in Jerusalem, during which Muslim terrorists used previously stashed weapons to murder two Israeli police officers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office installed new security measures on Sunday in order to permit the resumption of Muslim prayer on the site. As part of this effort, metal detectors were erected at entrances to the area for Muslim visitors, which led to protests soon after the site reopened.
While non-Muslim visitors have been forced to pass through metal detectors at the Mughrabi Gate for years, Muslims had not been subject to the same screening in over a decade and a half at the 10 entrances through which only Muslims may pass. Under the administration of the Temple Mount by the Jordanian Waqf, the Islamic authority that oversees the site, only Muslim worship is allowed on the grounds, with Jewish prayer explicitly banned at Judaism’s holiest site.
After two days of critical remarks about Friday’s Temple Mount closure by figures such as Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas, Netanyahu hastened to reopen the site to Muslim worship. In response to screening instituted to decrease the chances of yet another heinous act of Islamic terror, the Waqf protested by refusing to open the entry gates. As a result, Muslim worshipers also refused to pass the metal detectors, loudly shouting at security forces.
Prior to reopening the site, Israeli police searched various mosque buildings and offices on the Mount, turning up a wide variety of weapons and suspicious items. “Dozens of knives, slingshots, batons, spikes, inciting material, unexploded ordnance, binoculars and dummy plastic weapons” were discovered at the site, Jerusalem District Commander Major General Yoram Halevy told Army Radio.
The Israeli government and police forces continue to make every effort to maintain the Temple Mount’s delicate “status quo,” an oft-used phrase that refers to the extensive list of hands-off requirements Muslim groups demand at the site. Israel has remained compliant with the Waqf’s demands, notwithstanding Israel’s official sovereignty over the site after it was captured during 1967’s Six Day War.
Despite the horrific nature of the Temple Mount attack on Friday, Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy head of Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction, announced to Palestinian media that the metal detectors were “illegitimate” and that eliminating entry by “settlers” and removing “Israeli soldiers” were the only means to restore security at the site, Times of Israel reported.
By: World Israel News