The Muslim community in Jerusalem have continued the boycott of the Al Aqsa mosque despite the dismantling of the metal detectors outside the compound. Israel had hoped to defuse escalating tensions with the Muslim world by replacing them instead with cameras that can reportedly detect hidden objects. But local people weren’t happy, saying that “they should also be gone”.
Israel installed metal detectors just a week ago at the gates of a contested Jerusalem shrine after two police guards were shot dead on July 14, causing widespread condemnation.
It remains unclear if Muslim religious leaders will accept the decision.
Muhammad Ahmad Hussein is the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem spoke of the current stand-off
“We will keep praying in the streets and squares next to the Mosque, every single time we pray, until we’ll get the decision giving us the authorisation to do our prayers inside the Mosque”
The move comes after a meeting of the United Nations security council and a subsequent warning from the UN Middle East envoy that these localised actions have the potential to have catastrophic costs well beyond the walls of the Old City and even beyond the Middle East itself.