Israel last night began removing metal detectors it placed at the doors of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City, replacing them with high tech surveillance cameras.
Palestinians, who have been staging protests at the mosque since the escalation in the occupation’s actions, believe this is insufficient as the barriers have been replaced with more advanced CCTV.
The Palestinian Information Centre also reported that trees in the compound have been cut down in order to provide a clearer view for the cameras, that have been mounted on a new metallic structure.
According to Al Jazeera, Sheikh Raed Saleh, an Al-Aqsa official, said:
[Palestinians will] never accept the current status, unless everything that was added after July 14 was removed.
Ofir Gendelman, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesperson, tweeted: “The Security Cabinet has decided to replace the metal detectors w/ smart & other measures in order to ensure security on the Temple Mount.”
The Security Cabinet has decided to replace the metal detectors w/ smart & other measures in order to ensure security on the Temple Mount.
— Ofir Gendelman (@ofirgendelman) July 25, 2017
Israel placed metal detectors at the doors of Al-Aqsa on 16 July after closing the Islamic holy site for two days. On 14 July, three Palestinians and two Israeli security personnel were killed in the mosque’s courtyards.
Palestinians have held protests and refused to enter the mosque’s grounds through the metal detectors calling them a change to the status quo and steps towards the further Judaisation of the mosque. Settlers have stormed the mosque in large numbers over the past week with many calling for synagogues to be built on its grounds.
This is the second time Al-Aqsa Mosque has been closed since 1969.