Mahmoud Abbas, Binyamin Netanyahu (Image credit: Government Press Office of Israel)
The Israeli government, led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, decided in an emergency Cabinet meeting Monday night to remove the metal detectors and security cameras that were placed at the entrances to the Temple Mount following a terror attack there just over a week ago.
But the meek capitulation – which came hard on the heels of terror attacks last Friday and earlier on Monday alongside threats by the Jordanian government to take Israelis hostage – is not enough.
Like a shark smelling blood in the water, the “Palestinians” have gotten the message that terror and threats pay off, and so with whetted appetites they are pressing their advantage and demanding more concessions before they deign to again enter and pray at the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. It goes without saying that the continued protest means that the riots and violence will continue.
Yes, on Tuesday, the Muslim Arabs again refused to enter the site despite the absence of metal detectors, which they had previously cited as the cause for the boycott and the fuel for their violent riots and murderous terror attacks nationwide.
PA Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Muhammad Hussein told the Israeli Channel 2 on Tuesday: “We are not satisfied with the Cabinet’s decision and we will continue to pray outside [the Temple Mount] today as well.”
“The Cabinet needs to decide not only to remove the metal detectors, but also to remove all of the means of checking. Muslims needs to enter freely through all of the gates.”
The Jordanian Waqf that maintains de facto control over the Jewish holy site on Tuesday called on Muslims not to enter yet, while they consider Israel’s current security steps and whether they constitute enough of a capitulation. For his part, despotic Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also brushed off Israel’s act of kowtowing and carried on with business as usual, saying that “Israel is trying to steal [the] Al-Aqsa [Mosque] from the Muslims under the pretext of terror.”
Given that along with the metal detectors it was also decided to remove the security cameras, which were also placed at the site following the attack there on July 14 in which 2 Israeli Druze border police officers were murdered, exactly which security measures are still in place that the Arabs are now protesting?
For the moment, the security reportedly only consists of Israeli police forces watching the Arab visitors as they enter the site and pulling aside anyone who “looks suspicious” for a pat-down. It is worth noting that Jews are still subjected to entering through metal detectors because…they pose a greater security threat? No, the answer would appear to be because they protest less.
Aside from the manual searches, the only other measure is the planned installation of smart cameras at some point in the future, which is currently under discussion. It is still unclear who would control the cameras and how they would function exactly; a previous attempt to install security cameras ended with Jordan demanding it have sole control over the video feed.
As noted, the Israeli government on Monday night folded to terror in its decision to remove basic security measures introduced at the Temple Mount. The move came after an Arab terrorist murdered 3 Jews in their home in Halamish, Samaria, last Friday, and after another terrorist stabbed and wounded an Israeli Arab in Petah Tikva on Monday morning, mistaking him for a Jew.
Perhaps more significant in determining the haste with which Israel’s backsliding occurred were threats from the government of Jordan to take Haredi Jews hostage as they visited Aharon’s Tomb.
Jordan likewise threatened to arrest and sentence to death an Israeli security guard from the Israel embassy in Amman, after on Sunday a terrorist stabbed him with a screwdriver and, while shooting and killing the terrorist in self-defense, the guard accidentally shot and killed another person as well. Jordan held him hostage by seeking to extract him from the Israeli embassy, and the diplomatic tensions ended with the entire embassy being withdrawn to Israel on Monday night.
Netanyahu called Jordan's King Abdullah to negotiate having the embassy personnel be allowed to flee the country - and apparently he obtained the permission to retreat by offering to capitulate on the Temple Mount in return, for the decision on the metal detectors came the same night as the embassy was recalled and mere hours after the phone call.
But as noted, the Arabs are now demanding that Israel fold even further and completely give up any pretense of security and control at the Temple Mount. There are those who would say they should be encouraged to continue boycotting the site – and that Israel needs to begin acting like a sovereign nation that respects its holiest site and its G-d.