Toronto - In a move that has angered Palestinians and their supporters, Israel has installed security cameras outside the entrance to the Al Aqsa compound known as the Lion’s Gate and barred entry to journalists.
Toronto – In a move that has angered Palestinians and their supporters, Israel has installed security cameras outside the entrance to the Al Aqsa compound known as the Lion’s Gate and barred entry to journalists.
In a statement released Sunday, the Islamic institutions in Jerusalem called the increased security measures at the site “measures of occupation” and demanded their removal.
At virtually the same time the cameras were being installed, according to an Al Jazeera report, Major General Yoav Mordechai, Head of the Israel Defense body for Palestinian affairs, announced that Israel was open to dialogue aimed at alleviating tensions in Jerusalem.
“The only thing we want is to ensure no one can enter with weapons again and carry out another attack,” Mordechai said. “We’re willing to examine alternatives to the metal detectors as long as the solution of alternative ensures the prevention of the next attack.”
According to the same source, coordinated consultations between Palestinians, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and others are currently taking place. The announcement was made by Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas’ top advisor, Majdi Khaldi.
Bloody demonstrations took place Friday as thousands of Palestinians massed to oppose the installation of metal detectors at Al Aqsa, the third holiest site in Islam. In the days leading up to Friday, Palestinian leaders had called for a “day of rage” to protest what they feared as an Israeli violation of the status quo regarding governorship of the site.
Fearing the mass demonstration, Israel barred entrance to the site to any male under the age of 50 and refused entry to buses carrying Muslim worshippers wanting to attend Friday prayers. Thousands of additional Israeli security personnel were deployed and three young Palestinians were killed in the crackdown that followed.
In an example of the consequences of the rising tensions, a 20-year-old Palestinian man posted his intent to attack an Israeli settlement home on Facebook, claiming his motivation was the violence he was witnessing. Omar al-Abed succeeded in stabbing four members of an Israeli family, killing three before being shot and killed himself by Israeli security.
In response to the attack, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu announced during a cabinet meeting that Al-Abed’s family home would be destroyed, calling him “a despicable terrorist.”
The added security measures had been put in place by Israel following the deaths of two Israeli police officers in East Jerusalem June 14. The three alleged Palestinian perpetrators were tracked to the Al-Aqsa where they were shot and killed by Israel police.