Metal detectors to scan Muslim visitors to Temple Mount ‘when necessary’


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli police will use metal detectors to scan Muslim worshippers going to the Temple Mount, Israel’s public security minister said.

The detectors will scan for guns and other weapons made out of metal, Yitzhak Aharonovich told Israel’s Channel 1 on Wednesday night.

Muslim worshippers have had free access to the site since 2000, when the use of detectors was discontinued. The Temple Mount has been the site of escalating violence of late.

“We’ll use them when necessary,” Aharonovich said. “Any suspect will be inspected. For crowds we’ll use cameras — we’ll increase the supervision of people entering the compound, both Jews and Muslims.”

He said that a facial-recognition surveillance system also would be installed.

Aharonovich also said that he would prevent Jewish lawmakers and other Jewish visitors from going to the Temple Mount when necessary to prevent tension or rioting.

“Those who want to make things hotter on the Temple Mount, from the right or the left, be it the Islamic Movement, Fatah or Israeli rightist movements, including lawmakers, we have the authority to prevent them from going,” he said.

During a police ceremony in Jerusalem on Thursday, Aharonovich vowed to restore calm to the Temple Mount, as riots continued to flare in eastern Jerusalem.

“The Temple Mount is the focus. There will be no compromise on the Temple Mount, and we will preserve the status quo,” he said. “We won’t allow this or that extremist to change the status quo. We will restore quiet and a sense of security. There’s no other way. We will be victorious in this campaign.”

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