World, Middle East

Israel to remove metal detectors at Al-Aqsa compound

Israeli TV claims metal detectors at Al-Aqsa gates to be replaced with handheld ones

Israel to remove metal detectors at Al-Aqsa compound


Israel is set to replace metal detectors with handheld ones at the gates of Al-Aqsa compound amid rising tension, Israeli TV claimed on Saturday.

According to Israeli television Channel 2, Israeli police decided to remove metal detectors as of Saturday night and use handheld detectors instead.

The report claimed that police forces would be deployed to carry out searches by handheld detectors at the Al-Aqsa's gates.

According to the report, Jerusalem’s police chief Yoram Halevy and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Berekat supported the decision.

Israeli authorities have not commented on the issue yet.

Anger has spilled over across the West Bank since last week when Israel shut the Al-Aqsa Mosque, revered by both Muslims and Jews, who call it Temple Mount, following a deadly shootout.

The mosque was reopened after a two-day closure, with Israel installing metal detectors at the mosque gates, which Palestinians say aim to change the status quo -- a delicate balance of prayer and visiting rights.

Israel, for its part, refused to remove the detectors, claiming the security measures were similar to procedures taken at other holy sites around the world.

Sacred to Muslims, Jews, and Christians, Jerusalem is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which for Muslims represents the world's third-holiest site.

Earlier today, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for an immediate end to Israel’s new restrictions at the compound of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.

“Metal detectors and other restrictions should be immediately lifted and the current status quo must be restored,” Erdogan said.

Reporting by Turgut Alp Poyraz; Writing by Handan Kazanci

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