After placing cameras and railings in response to the deadly shooting of two police officers at a a contested shrine in Israel, the Supreme Islamic Committee is demanding the security measures be removed.
Head of the committee Ikrema Sabri has called for mass prayer protests until the metal railings, iron bridge and newly installed cameras are taken down at the Jewish Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. This comes after Israel had already removed metal detectors from the site which were installed to try and restore calm and a sense of safety.
According the Associated Press report, Sabri said that Muslims “will not enter the mosque until these things are implemented,” and that they are awaiting a response from the police.
Although the security measures were placed as a rational response to the tragic attack at the site, The Islamic Committee as well as other Palestinians saw it as an attempt to expand control over the site by Israel.
Israel was forced to respond and remove the original security measures after mass protest and civil unrest ensued, with members of the Muslim community clashing with those of the Jewish community that threatened to expand into conflict with other Muslim nations.
Israel installed the security cameras and railings instead as a compromise, but it was not enough for the Islamic Committee as they are demanding the cameras be taken down as well under the claim that Israel is seeking to take full control of the site, a claim that Israel has vehemently denied.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to have doubled down on his measures of security, with instructions of thorough inspections at the site by Israeli police officers.
Netanyahu and Israel may find itself in a tough spot in the coming days as other Muslim nations and authorities chime in on the matter with all claiming the security measures as an attempt by Israel to take over the site.
According to the Associated Press, Israel’s foreign ministry responded by calling the comments delusional, baseless and distorted. They followed up by saying “The days of the Ottoman Empire are over. . . He who lives in a palace of glass would be better off not throwing stones.”