The Security Cabinet convened on Thursday night for hours, and a decision was reached by which the metal detectors placed on Har Habayis will remain in place despite harsh objections from the Waqf Authority.
The decision to place the magnetometers in place followed the fatal shooting attack on Har Habayis last erev Shabbos, an attack that claimed the lives of two policemen and left a third one injured. in addition, Israeli officials point out the attack on the holy site was a gross violation of the status quo on the site, and this opens the door for new regulations.
Israel Police remains on high alert on Friday, with extra elite troops in place in Jerusalem’s Old City and other areas of the capital. The Waqf Authority is calling on Muslims from Israel and throughout PA (Palestinian Authority) areas to head to Har Habayis, seeking to defy Israel’s exhibiting sovereignty over Har Habayis since the attack. Following the attack, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered Har Habayis closed, and it remained closed the entire Friday and through Sunday morning, eliciting the ire of the Waqf Authority, Jordan and the international Islamic community. Nevertheless, Israel remained firm and the site was shut to all, including Muslims, for a first time in decades.
Since the attack last week, the Waqf Authority has been working in earnest to turn Israel’s actions into an international incident, conveniently forgetting the terror attack or the fact that a subsequent police sweep of Har Habayis following the attack revealed a cache of guns, knives, chains and other items that could be used against police.
Tensions remain high in the capital today, Friday, and police are on a level 3 alert in expectation of Islamic violence following Friday prayers.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)