Israel has dismantled the metal detectors outside the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, following more than a week of unrest.
Work crews were spotted in the early hours of Tuesday morning removing the metal detectors at one entrance and by dawn they had all been removed, according to Muslim officials.
The removal followed a decision of the Security Cabinet which said it “accepted the recommendation of all of the security bodies to incorporate security measures based on advanced technologies (“smart checks”) and other measures instead of metal detectors in order to ensure the security of visitors and worshippers in the Old City and on the Temple Mount.”
It added that “until the implementation of the plan, the Israel Police will reinforce its units and carry out additional actions as necessary in order to ensure the security of visitors on the Mount.”
The Security Cabinet announced that a budget of NIS 100 million would be allocated to implement the plan.
The solution was presented to the Security Cabinet after days of meetings between the Israeli Police and representatives of four leading security firms from both Israel and abroad. The security firms offered solutions including advanced cameras which have a very high resolution and are able to identify whether a person is concealing a bomb or a weapon.
It is understood that such cameras will now be placed throughout the Old City, not just the entrance to the Temple Mount used by Muslims. This is to provide further reassurance to the Waqf that the status quo of the site has not been changed.
During the night a few hundred Palestinians gathered to celebrate the removal of the detectors at the Lion’s Gate, near an entrance to the Temple Mount. One person set off a firework, prompting Israeli police to disperse the gathering. Two police officers sustained light injuries.
The detectors were put in place following an attack on July 14th in which terrorists stored weapons in the Temple Mount, then emerged from the holy site and shot dead two police officers.