Violence has again erupted between Israel and the Palestinians. So far, six have died. Last weekend, Israel installed metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount. They installed these devices to prevent potential terrorists from sneaking weapons into the area. Instead of accepting the new security measure, the Palestinians are violently protesting in the streets. This reaction seems irrational; If their only objective were to enter the area to pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque, metal detectors would not be an issue. However, these security measures are a hindrance to those who would smuggle in weapons – which makes a far more reasonable explanation.
Israel installed the metal detectors after a terrorist attack carried out by Israeli Arabs that claimed the lives of two Israeli soldiers. The attackers smuggled automatic weapons into the area and shot both soldiers before fleeing to the back of the Temple Mount where the Israeli forces killed them. The site closed briefly, and when it reopened on July 16, metal detectors guarded the area. That’s when the violence started.
Since the attack, Palestinians have engaged in angry protests against the new security measures, Reuters reported. Palestinians hurled rocks at the Israeli police, who responded by using stun grenades. But that’s not the worst part. Reuters also reports that a Palestinian terrorist stabbed three Israelis to death in the West Bank only hours after the security measures went into effect.
After the initial attack, Hamas and Islamic Jihad praised the attackers. In a post on Twitter, Hamas said: “the Jerusalem operation is a natural response to Israeli terrorism and the desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” They also stated that the attack “proves that the intifada continues and our people are united behind the resistance.” Islamic Jihad called the killing of the two Israeli soldiers “heroic.”
Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, condemned Israel’s decision to install metal detectors. In response, he announced that he would cease all communications with Israel: “We announce a freeze on all contacts with Israelis on all levels until it cancels the steps taken against our people in Al-Aqsa and in Jerusalem.”
Muslims have also stated that they will not pray at the mosque unless Israel removed the metal detectors. Thousands of Muslims have been praying in the street outside the entrance with the metal detectors to protest Israel’s actions. Along with the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and other Islamic countries are stating that Israel is violating the status quo at the Temple Mount. It is interesting that Jordan would criticize Israel’s security measures, they planned to put security cameras at the Temple Mount – though they abandoned their plans due to Palestinian threats and protests.
The protesters state that they are complaining about the metal detectors because they violate the status quo of the Temple Mount. They say that these security measures will somehow lead to Israel preventing Muslims from entering the area. However, this argument does not hold up when you consider the fact that Israel has been allowing Muslims to pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque for years. They have not prevented Muslims from entering the area despite the fact that Palestinians have carried out numerous attacks at the Temple Mount. So what is the real reason they are against metal detectors?
Palestinians are protesting against the metal detectors because the devices will make it harder to smuggle weapons into the Temple Mount – it is the same reason they did not want Jordan to install security cameras. Both Palestinians and Israelis have to go through metal detectors when entering public institutions, shopping malls, hospitals, and other buildings. Since there have already been violent attacks at the Temple Mount, it would make sense to take measures that could protect both Israelis and Palestinians.
The Palestinians accuse Israel of preventing them from entering the Temple Mount. However, they are the ones choosing not to enter the mosque.This is part of the deception. The Palestinians know how to deceive the international community into believing that Israel is acting as the oppressor. While ignoring the fact that it was a Palestinian attack that prompted the installation of the devices, they are praying in the street to give the impression that they are not being allowed to worship as they please.
Jerusalem has always been a major source of controversy in the modern world. Three of the world’s largest religions consider it to be among their most holy sites. Israeli control over the city ensures that people of all faiths will be able to visit and worship. The metal detectors are there to ensure the safety of all who wish to enter. The Palestinians’ refusal to accept the security devices reveals their real motivation: more violence.