Israel removes controversial metal detectors from Jerusalem holy site

The metal detectors will be replaced with other technology, the Israeli government said.

Israeli security forces remove metal detectors which were recently installed at an entrance to the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old CityREUTERS/Ammar Awad

Israel is to remove controversial metal detectors that had angered Muslims from a holy site in Jerusalem, the Associated Press has reported.

The news service reported trucks and personnel heading towards the shrine in what appeared to be a compromise to ease escalating tensions between Israel and its Muslim neighbours.

The detectors will be replaced with "sophisticated technology" but did not elaborate further on the type of technology. Other reports cited Israeli media saying that high-tech camera that can detect hidden objects would replace the metal detectors.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone to Jordan's King Abdullah II earlier on Monday (24 July). Jordan is the custodian of Muslim religious sites in Jerusalem.

The two countries were involved in a diplomatic stand-off after an Israeli guard shot dead a Jordanian teenager who attacked him with a screwdriver at the country's embassy in Amman. Jordan had originally said that the guard must stay in the country while investigations proceeded while Israel said he had diplomatic immunity.

The guard, along with other embassy staff, returned to Israel on Monday after the phone call.

Some had thought the attack linked to rising Muslim anger over the metal detectors though it appeared to be an isolated incident.

The detectors were installed after gunmen shot dead two Israeli policemen at the shrine earlier in July. The installation led to protests.

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