Fri | Jul 20, 2018

Gov't seeks alternative to metal detectors to end crisis

Published:Tuesday | July 25, 2017 | 12:03 AM
Israeli police officers are seen outside the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City yesterday


Israel's security Cabinet met for a second straight day yesterday to try to defuse an escalating crisis with the Muslim world and find an alternative to metal detectors that had been installed a week earlier at a contested Jerusalem shrine amid widespread protests.

Ministers were being asked to consider the installation of sophisticated, high-resolution cameras and increased police deployments as a replacement for the metal detectors, Israeli media said.

The cameras would be installed in Jerusalem's Old City where the shrine, revered by Muslims and Jews, is located.




Meanwhile, a diplomatic standoff with Jordan, over a deadly shooting at the Israeli embassy in the kingdom, added another complication but also a new opening to end the showdown over the Jerusalem holy site.

At issue is the fate of an Israeli embassy guard who killed two Jordanians after being attacked by one of them with a screwdriver.

Jordan said he can only leave the country after an investigation. Israel said the guard has diplomatic immunity.

Jordan is also heavily involved in efforts to defuse the crisis at the Jerusalem holy site. Israeli media said an emerging deal could see the guard freed in exchange for the removal of the metal detectors.

The head of Israel's domestic Shin Bet security agency met with officials in Jordan on Monday to resolve the crisis, the worst between the two countries in recent years. Jordan and Israel have a peace agreement and share security interests, but frequently disagree over policies at the shrine.