Israel is removing metal detectors from the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, after massive protests by Palestinians who say the security measures were part of an effort by Israelis to seize control of the holy site. The move comes after the U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting over the mounting protests and violence. At least seven people—four Palestinians and three Israelis—have been killed since Friday. This is U.N. Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov.
Nickolay Mladenov: “I call on the parties to refrain from provocative actions, show restraint and work towards finding a solution. It is extremely important that a solution to the current crisis be found by Friday this week. I think the dangers on the ground will escalate if we go through another cycle of Friday prayer without a resolution to this current crisis.”
Israel says it will replace the metal detectors with another form of security measures. According to the website Electronic Intifada, some right-wing Israeli extremists have been calling for the expulsion of Muslims from the al-Aqsa Mosque entirely. The group, known as the Temple movement, has issued a statement saying, “We must liberate the Temple Mount from the murderous Islam and return it to the people of Israel.”