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Muslims keep up shrine boycott despite Israeli concessions

By in Press Enterprise on July 25, 2017

By The Associated Press

By KARIN LAUB and ARON HELLER

JERUSALEM Muslim leaders urged the faithful Tuesday to keep up their prayer protests and avoid entering a contested Jerusalem shrine, even after Israel dismantled metal detectors that initially triggered the tensions.

Israel said it would replace the metal detectors with new security arrangements based on “advanced technology” to be installed in the next six months. This reportedly refers to sophisticated cameras.

Muslim clerics have demanded that Israel restore the situation at the shrine ‘ the third-holiest in Islam and the most sacred in Judaism ‘ to what it was before it installed the metal detectors last week.

The clerics said Tuesday they need time to study the proposed new Israeli measures but suggested a decision could be made by the end of the day.

“We need to know all the details before we decide to pray inside the compound,” said Mohammed Hussein, the top Muslim cleric, or mufti, in Jerusalem.

Muslim worshippers heeded the call, with thousands praying in the streets outside the shrine Tuesday evening, as they had for noon services.

The continued protests meant that the escalating crisis between Israel and the Muslim world, which began in mid-July, was not defused, even after Israel backed down on the metal detectors.

Jordan, the Muslim custodian of the shrine, has played a key role in trying to end the showdown over the holy site.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said the kingdom wants “calm to return” to the shrine and to see a historic status quo there restored. Israel must “revoke all new measures on the ground,” he said.

Jordan’s position on the continued Muslim protests and the Israeli security plan was not clear from his comments.

Over the weekend, Jordan’s efforts were complicated by a shooting at the Israeli Embassy in Amman, where an Israeli guard killed two Jordanians after being attacked by […]    

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