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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Israel to remove metal detectors from Al Aqsa

Israel's security cabinet announced in the early hours of Tuesday that 'sophisticated technology' will be used instead of the devices

Israeli security forces take down security barriers at the Lions' Gate, a main entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City
Israeli security forces take down security barriers at the Lions' Gate, a main entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City

Metal detectors which were set up at the entrance to a Jerusalem holy site are to be removed, following widespread anger from Muslims.

Israel's security cabinet announced in the early hours of Tuesday that "sophisticated technology" will be used instead of the devices at the Al Aqsa compound.

However, it did not elaborate on when the metal detectors would be removed or what would replace them. Israeli media earlier reported high resolution cameras capable of detecting hidden objects would be the alternative.

It said Israel would boost forces in the area until the plan is implemented.

Earlier in the evening heavy machinery and workers were seen heading to the entrance of the site.

Israel put up the metal detectors after Arab gunmen killed two policemen from inside the shrine, holy to Muslims and Jews, earlier this month. The move incensed the Muslim world and triggered violence.

Signs that the crisis is close to being resolved came on Monday after Jordan's King Abdullah II spoke over the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the crisis. Amman administers the holy site via its religious body.

The fate of the site is an emotional issue at the heart of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Even the smallest perceived change to delicate arrangements pertaining to the site sparks tensions.

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