The Israeli security forces have started to remove metal detectors installed at entry points to al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied East Jerusalem, according to the mosque’s director.
Sheikh Najeh Bakirat, the director of al-Aqsa Mosque, said overnight on Tueday that the move does not fullfil the demands of the Muslim worshippers as the security cameras are being kept.
Israel installed metal detectors and security cameras after gunmen shot dead two Israeli guards near al-Aqsa compound on July 14.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet voted to remove the metal detector gates after a meeting lasting several hours convening for a second time on Monday after they had broken off discussions a day earlier.
Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, said that this comes after a “very hard negotiation from all sides”.
“It seems there has been some sort of agreement between the custodians of the al-Aqsa mosque compound site, the Israeli police and the Israeli cabinet following a meeting [late on Monday] to resolve the crisis,” he said.
The Al Jazeera correspondent said that earlier in the day more security cameras were installed as part of additional security measures seen by Muslims as an unacceptable infringement of one of their most sacred sites.
“Whether they take those down or not remains to be seen,” he said.
Tensions have escalated since Israel imposed additional security measures at the Muslim-administered al-Aqsa mosque compound – Islam’s third holiest site.
Palestinians view the move as Israel asserting further control over the site. They have refused to enter the compound in protest and have prayed in the streets outside instead.
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Earlier on Monday, UN’s Middle East envoy said a solution was needed by Friday to the al-Aqsa crisis, which threatens to have “potential catastrophic costs well beyond the walls of the Old City”.
“It is extremely important that a solution to the current crisis be found by Friday,” Nickolay Mladenov told reporters after briefing the UN Security Council behind closed doors.
“The dangers on the ground will escalate if we go through another cycle of Friday prayer without a resolution to this current crisis.”
King Abdullah II of Jordan, the custodian of the al-Aqsa shrine, discussed the crisis with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stressing the need to remove the security measures.
At least five Palestinians have been killed and hundreds injured in clashes sparked by the new security measures.
Three Israelis were also killed when a Palestinian sneaked into a house in a West Bank settlement and stabbed them.
On Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that the Palestinian leadership will freeze all contact with Israel.