Israel Installs Cameras at Holy Site Amid Flaring Tensi…

Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Israel installed security cameras Sunday at the entrance to a sensitive Jerusalem holy site as officials began indicating that they were considering “alternatives” to the metal detectors at the contested shrine that set off a weekend of violence and raised tensions in the region.

Israel set up the new security measures last week after Arab gunmen opened fire from the shrine, killing two Israeli policemen. It said they were a necessary measure to prevent more attacks and were deployed routinely at holy sites around the world. But Muslims alleged that Israel was trying to expand its control at the Muslim-administered site and have launched mass prayer protests.

Three Palestinians were killed in clashes Friday in some of the worst street violence in years, and later a Palestinian stabbed three members of an Israeli family to death.

Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, who heads the Israeli defense body for Palestinian civilian affairs, said Israel was open to alternatives to lower the tensions.

“The only thing we want is to ensure no one can enter with weapons again and carry out another attack,” he said. “We’re willing to examine alternatives to the metal detectors as long as the solution of alternative ensures the prevention of the next attack.”

However, the top Muslim cleric of Jerusalem, Mohammed Hussein, told the Voice of Palestine that he demands a complete return to procedures that were in place before the initial attack at the shrine, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

In a statement Sunday, the Islamic institutions in Jerusalem, of which he is a part, said they “affirm the categorical rejection of the electronic gates and all the measures of occupation.”

Image: Security measures which include metal detectors and cameras outside Lions' Gate

Security measures which include metal detectors and cameras outside Lions’ Gate, a main entrance to Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem on Sunday.