Tensions remain high at a disputed Jerusalem holy place sacred to Muslims and Jews, after Israel imposed new security measures. Robert Berger reports for VOA from Jerusalem.
Israel has placed new security cameras at entrances to the Mosque of Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem’s Old City, the site Jews call the Temple Mount. Israeli officials say it is a possible alternative to controversial metal detectors installed at the site that sparked Palestinian riots on Friday.
Israel says the new measures are necessary to prevent terrorist attacks, like the one by Arab gunmen that killed two policemen at the site 10 days ago. But Palestinians say any security checks at the mosque humiliate Muslims, and they accuse Israel of trying to seize control of the third holiest place in Islam.
Palestinian spokesman Osama Kawasmeh says there will be no compromise on the issue. He said the Palestinian Authority is cutting all ties with Israel until the former status quo at the Al-Aqsa Mosque is restored.
That could have deadly consequences because security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian government has prevented many terrorist attacks.
On Friday, a 20-year-old Palestinian broke into a home in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank and stabbed three Israelis to death as they sat at dinner on the Sabbath. The assailant’s Facebook page said it was revenge for Israeli actions at the Mosque of Al-Aqsa.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the attack as “an act of terror carried out by a beast who was incited with fierce hatred.”
Netanyahu told the Cabinet the terrorist’s family home “will be demolished as soon as possible.” He said security forces will take the necessary measures to prevent a further escalation of Palestinian violence and terror.