(JTA) — Israel will remove metal detectors from entrances to the Temple Mount, after days of rioting by Palestinians furious at the installation of the devices in the wake of a deadly attack.
“The Security Cabinet 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,” said a government statement released late Monday night.
The statement said Israel will pay up to 100 million shekels (about $30 million) over the next six months to install the new devices.
The area around the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and also the location of the Haram A-Sharif, the third holiest site in Islam, has been riven with tensions since July 14 when three Arab-Israelis shot and killed two Israeli police officers at the holy site before they were shot to death.
Israeli authorities installed metal detectors at the site in the wake of the attack and since then, Muslims have refused to enter the Temple Mount, instead praying outside of its gates, leading to clashes and the deaths of at least five Palestinians in recent days.
The announcement came after days of intensive consultations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jordanian King Abdullah, and the Trump administration, including President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the region, Jason Greenblatt, who flew in on Sunday to help calm the tensions.