Published On: Tue, Jul 25th, 2017

Temple Mount Crisis: Erdogan Calls on Muslims to Defend Jerusalem

Turkish president accused Israel of trying to steal al-Aqsa; Mufti of Jerusalem told Online News 2: Israel must remove all the means of inspection."

 

Temple Mount Crisis: Even after the detectors and cameras installed at the entrance to Temple Mount removed, Muslim worshipers were held outside the gates, despite the security changes.

Turkish President Erdogan called on all Muslims to “defend Jerusalem.” “Israel is trying to steal Al-Aqsa from the Muslims under the claims of terrorism,” he said.

Erdogan added: “Israel’s legitimacy only makes sense as long as it respects the rights of the Palestinians: Israel is aware that the restrictions on entry to al-Aqsa do not stem from security considerations.”

Muslim officials called on believers not to go to al-Aqsa because of the changes in the security system until the end of the Waqf and Muslim leaders meeting on the issue. “Our position is that at this stage, no one should enter,” one of them said.

The mufti of Jerusalem spoke with Online News 2 and said: “We are not satisfied with the decision of the cabinet and we will continue to pray outside today. Israel must decide not only to remove the magnetometers but to remove all means of inspection.”

In place of magnetometers and cameras, a fence has been put to allow the worshipers enter in lines and permit the supervision at the entrances. Anyone who looks suspicious will be checked on the side by the police.

The security cabinet decided on Monday to remove all the security measures that placed on the Temple Mount after the attack a week and a half ago, in which two Israeli policemen were killed. And install security checks based on advanced technologies. However, the Waqf refuses to accept the new inspection procedures. “The religious bodies and the Palestinian street are opposed to any change from the situation that existed before July 14 (the day the Temple Mount attack took place),” the organization said Tuesday.

“This is a street movement,” said Ra’ed D’Ana, director of the Waqf preaching department on the Temple Mount. “We in the Waqf are attentive to the people, and if the street says yes, we also say yes, if the street opposes the new steps, then we also oppose it.” The Waqf calls for all gates to be open immediately.

They also attacked the decision to place cameras at the entrance gates to the Temple Mount. “This is a new provocation by Netanyahu and another provocation among the worshipers who visit the mosque,” said MK Jamal Zahalka, chairman of the joint list party, who was pleased with the removal of the magnetometers. “The time has come for the Israeli government to behave with due respect to the holy place of the Muslims.”

On the other hand, the Jewish ultra-right wing “Otzma L’Israel” threatened to petition the High Court of Justice if the metal detector at the Mugrabi Gate, which serves Jews and tourists to the Temple Mount, is not removed. The attorney general, the state prosecutor and the Jerusalem district police commander demanded that the metal detector is removed at the Mugrabi Gate, saying that “it is impossible to discriminate between Jews and Arabs only by race and religion and to conduct an iron detector check only for Jews.”

The Cabinet decided to allocate a budget of up to NIS 100 million for the implementation of the plan, within a period of up to six months.

The solution apparently includes the installation of very advanced cameras throughout the Old City. These are advanced cameras with technological capabilities that make it possible to distinguish objects that can remove such clothing or objects.

Despite the unified position presented by security officials, the vote in the cabinet was not unanimous, and ministers Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked and Ze’ev Elkin voted against it. Minister Miri Regev criticized the decision this morning. “The cabinet decision yesterday is an unfortunate decision,” she said. “You do not have to be a security expert to understand that a magnetometer has a deterrent and safety effect.”

Following the crisis with Jordan, which resulted from the killing of two Jordanian civilians by a member of the Israeli embassy security staff, it was reported that King Abdullah had demanded that Netanyahu removes the metal detector on the Temple Mount in exchange for the return of the security man to Israel.

Jordan confirmed the report on the demand, but the Prime Minister’s office denied that there was a Jordanian request to remove the metal detector in return of the security guard to Israel. “The contacts between Israel and Jordan have been going on for the past 24 hours, in an atmosphere of cooperation,” the response said.

After a tense day, the staff of the Israeli embassy in Jordan passed through the Allenby crossing last night and returned to Israel. Among the crew members who crossed the border was the security man who was wounded the previous day in a stabbing at the embassy compound in Amman.

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