JERUSALEM — After days of violent protests, bloodshed and a diplomatic crisis with Jordan over the placement of metal detectors at the entrances to the Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, the Israeli government said early Tuesday it would remove them.
The turnabout came after a day of intense discussions between leaders of Israel and Jordan, the custodian of the shrine, and with American mediation. It also occurred hours after the end of a standoff prompted by a confrontation at the Israeli Embassy in Amman, Jordan, that led to the deaths of two Jordanians.
The first indication of a deal came on Monday night, with the arrival of the embassy staff back in Israel. The Israeli ambassador to Jordan, Einat Shlain, and the staff, including a security guard at the center of the fray, returned home soon after a telephone call between King Abdullah II of Jordan and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.
Israel said the guard had opened fire in self-defense after being stabbed and had diplomatic immunity. Jordan had wanted to question him and initially barred him from leaving the country.
Early on Tuesday, the Security Cabinet, whose proceedings are usually secret, issued an unusual statement, saying it had “accepted the recommendation of all the security bodies” to replace the metal detectors with less-obtrusive security measures based on advanced technologies. Israeli security forces began dismantling the metal detectors early Tuesday.
Mr. Netanyahu thanked President Trump for “directing” Jared Kushner, his senior adviser and son-in-law, and for dispatching Jason Greenblatt, his special representative for international negotiations, to the region to help with the effort to bring the Israeli Embassy staff home quickly. Mr. Netanyahu also thanked King Abdullah II “for our close cooperation.”
The crisis began with a brazen attack on the morning of July 14, when three armed Arab citizens of Israel emerged from Al Aqsa Mosque and fatally shot two Israeli Druze police officers who were guarding the compound. Mr. Netanyahu quickly ordered metal detectors and cameras placed at entrances to the contested and volatile holy site, which is revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.Read More...
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