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UN Security Council to Meet Over Jerusalem Violence

26 Juillet 2017

Officials set up new security cameras at the entrance to the holy site in Jerusalem as it considers an "alternative" to the metal detectors it installed after two Israeli policemen were killed nearby earlier this month.

The move led to widespread anger among Muslims, who boycotted praying at the site in protest of the metal detectors, and sparked a series of violent clashes with Israeli security forces, during which five Palestinians were killed, including one who died when his Molotov cocktail exploded prematurely.

"We affirm the historical and religious right to the al-Aqsa Mosque and warn that the Israeli occupation attempts to evade the benefits of peace", Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said.

It's not clear that Greenblatt - or any other US official - will be able to quiet tensions. Tensions had mounted for days as Palestinians hurled rocks and Israeli police used stun grenades after the detectors were placed outside the sacred venue, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount.

Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian man following clashes outside Jerusalem's Old city July 21, 2017.

The removal of the devices followed the resolution of a 24-hour diplomatic standoff with Jordan over a deadly shooting at the Israeli Embassy in the kingdom, suggesting a broader deal had been struck.

But Netanyahu's efforts to appease his right-wing coalition have run contrary to the advice of security experts.

Israel To Replace Temple Mount Metal Detectors With Less Obtrusive Surveillance
A similar wave of violence broke out in September 2015 over Palestinian claims of Israeli encroachment on the holy site. The metal detectors have become a symbol of the broader struggle over ownership and control of the contested compound.

He called for all the security measures at the mosque to be dismantled.

The mosque compound was reopened the following Sunday, after Israeli forces installed metal detectors, turnstiles, security cameras and metal barricades at the entrances to the compound. Mass protests have ensued as a result of the dispute, spurring fiery demonstrations over the weekend. Their installation by the Israelis has escalated tension in recent days.

But after consultations with security chiefs and members of his security cabinet, Netanyahu decided not to do so.

The detectors will be replaced with "sophisticated technology" but did not elaborate further on the type of technology.

On Monday, Ms Livni told Israel's Army Radio: "We are a step away from turning our conflict with the Palestinians, and cooperation with Jordan and other Sunni nations, into a pan-Muslim event against the state of Israel". "If they do not want to enter the mosque, then let them not enter the mosque".

Abbas suspended contact between the Palestinian Authority and Israel on Friday. U.S. -Jordan relations have also suffered. The Jordanian landlord of the embassy's residential quarters was also killed.