Wed Dec 13 2017, 8:35:44 +03

Israeli move to remove Al-Aqsa detectors ‘not enough’: Erdogan

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(Ankara-AlummahWorld-Dhu-AlQa'dah 03,1438H) Israel's decision to remove metal detectors from the Al-Aqsa Mosque that offended Muslims is "a step in the right direction, but it is not enough," Turkey`s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, Daily Sabah reported.

"Israel is attempting to damage the Islamic character of Jerusalem with new practices every day by taking advantage of the current weakness of Muslims," Erdogan said during an event to discuss higher education in the Islamic world at the Presidential Palace complex in Ankara.

"Those who criticize our country whenever possible suddenly become silent when the issue is Palestine, Jerusalem or Muslims' rights or laws." 

"How sorrowful it is that separations are on the agenda of the Islamic world rather than unity and conflicts rather than peace."

Anger has spilled across the West Bank since Israel shut East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque following a deadly shootout on July 14. The site is venerated by Muslims and Jews, who call it the Temple Mount.

The mosque was reopened after two days, with Israel installing metal detectors and cameras at its gates.

Three Palestinians were killed Friday in protests against the measures around the holy site, in addition to dozens of wounded. Three Israelis were also killed in an attack in a settlement on the West Bank.

The mosque was reopened after two days, with Israel installing metal detectors and cameras at its gates. Despite calls from the Islamic world to not to offend worshippers and return to the status quo, Israel refused to remove the detectors, claiming the security measures were similar to procedures taken at other holy sites around the world.

But facing international criticism and pressure, Israel's Security Cabinet decided late Monday to remove the metal detectors. A statement released after the meeting said a new surveillance system using "smart checks" based on advanced technology would be put in place.

Jerusalem is sacred to Muslims, Jews and Christians, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the Islamic world's third holiest site behind the Kaaba in Mecca and al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina.