Jerusalem crisis could have 'catastrophic costs — United Nations envoy


Over the past week, Jordan was heavily involved in trying to defuse an escalating crisis between Israel and the Muslim world over metal detectors installed at the shrine.

The White House said in a statement late on Tuesday that it "applauds the efforts of Israel to maintain security while reducing tensions in the region". Considered the third holiest site in Islam, it is the most sacred for Jews. They have refused to enter the compound in protest and have prayed in the streets outside. "Since the start of the events, I have held a series of assessments with security elements including those in the field", he said at the start of the meeting.

Palestinian worshippers pray in Ras el-Amud Area outside the Old City on July 21, 2017, in Jerusalem, Israel.

Three Palestinians were killed in clashes between protesters and Israeli officers Friday, and hours later, Israeli officials say a Palestinian attacker stabbed three Israelis to death in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.

A Waqf spokesman said it was awaiting a decision of a technical committee but was demanding the situation revert to the way it was before the metal detectors were installed.

On Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that the Palestinian leadership will freeze all contact with Israel. They knelt on prayer rugs arranged in neat rows on the asphalt as Israeli riot police lined up nearby.

The envoys of the US, Russia, the European Union and United Nations on Saturday issued a statement saying they "strongly condemn acts of terror, express their regret for all loss of innocent life caused by the violence, and hope for a speedy recovery to the wounded".

Muslims alleged Israel was expanding control at the site under the guise of security.

Cameras installed after the attack on the police were also removed.

Israel has removed controversial metal detectors at the entrance to a holy site in Jerusalem, aiming to ease tension after days of protests.

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Shortly after the release, Israel accepted Palestinian demands to take down the detectors and said it would replace them with unspecified security equipment "based on advanced technologies".

"We reject the metal detectors".

A senior cleric says Muslims should stay away from a major Jerusalem shrine, pending a review of the new Israeli security arrangements there.

The Sunday shooting, in which an Israeli guard killed two Jordanians after one attacked him with a screwdriver, had briefly led to a diplomatic standoff.

A news website linked to the Jordanian military is reporting that Jordan is refusing to let an Israeli security guard who shot two Jordanians near the Israeli Embassy leave the country. The meeting was called by Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and will now be held on Thursday. Safadi defended the government's handling of the embassy shooting, saying it had followed routine procedures as in any criminal case. Jordan and Israel have a peace agreement and share security interests, but frequently disagree over policies at the shrine.

An acrimonious session of Jordan's parliament was cut short as lawmakers walked out in protest after the interior minister presented the initial findings of the incident at the embassy.

The condition of the man, a 32-year-old Arab Israeli, was not believed to be life threatening.

And the dispute has spilled beyond the borders of Jerusalem, drawing a condemnation from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and prompting a conversation between the Jordanian and Israeli leaders.

It also comes after one of US President Donald Trump's top aides, Jason Greenblatt, arrived in Israel for talks over the crisis and with the UN Middle East envoy warning of a further escalation.