A majority of Israelis have expressed their dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's handling of security measures at Al-Aqsa Mosque, despite the support of the Council of Ministers for the decision.
According to a recent poll conducted by the Israeli Channel 2 – whose results were published by the Jerusalem Post – 77 per cent of respondents said that Netanyahu "gave in to pressure" to remove the metal detection barriers placed at the entrances to Al-Aqsa Mosque.
When asked, "should the gates have been introduced?" 68 per cent answered yes; 23 per cent said no, while 9 per cent said they did not know.
According to the poll 67 per cent of respondents think that Netanyahu's handling of the crisis was "bad" while 23 per cent said it was "good".
Israel removed the metal detection barriers it had placed at the entrances to Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem yesterday; reports stated that intelligent surveillance cameras would be installed instead.
The Israeli cabinet, led by Netanyahu, backed the decision to remove the metal detection barriers early yesterday morning after a meeting that lasted several of hours.
Israel introduced the barriers after two policemen were shot dead by gunmen near Al-Aqsa on 14 July. As Palestinians protested the Israeli army escalated violence against demonstrators.
Lightly used (for a week) metal detectors for sale. Only about a dozen going through.
If interested, contact Israel's Government 😂 pic.twitter.com/CqiinHPPGQ
— Abbs Winston (@AbbsWinston) July 26, 2017
Growing tension and the death of three Israelis and four Palestinians in acts of violence on Friday and Saturday have raised international concerns, prompting the Security Council to hold a meeting to discuss ways to calm the situation.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and senior clerics who oversee the Al-Aqsa compound have rejected new Israeli measures and demanded their removal.
"All new Israeli measures on the ground from 14 July until today should be removed", Abbas said at the start of a meeting with the Palestinian leadership. "Then things will return to normal in Jerusalem and we will then resume our work concerning bilateral relations."
The Islamic Waqf Institution stated that worshipers would continue to pray outside Al-Aqsa Mosque and on surrounding streets.
This piece was first published in Arabic on Sky News Arabia on 26 July 2017.