While the White House released a statement condemning Friday’s terror attack and supporting Israel’s decision to close the Temple Mount, Jordan’s condemnation came with demands to re-open the site for worship. Following a late-night assessment, Israel’s prime minister decided to gradually re-open the Temple Mount today (Sunday) for worshipers, visitors and tourists.
Watch: Footage of Friday’s terror attack
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with senior security officials yesterday (Saturday) evening and decided to gradually reopen the Temple Mount area for worshipers, visitors and tourists after it was closed for the first time since 1967 following Friday morning’s fatal attack during which two policemen were murdered.
King Abdullah of Jordan called to speak with Netanyahu and condemned the attack and terrorism, especially at holy sites. However, the Jordanian king demanded that the Temple Mount be opened for worshipers.
The Temple Mount will re-open today for worship and tourism (Archives) Photo Credit: Muammar Awad, Flash 90/Channel 2 News
According to last night’s decision, starting this afternoon, a limited number of entrances to the plaza will be opened in order to allow for a more controlled and strict inspection of those entering.
Israeli security officials also decided that metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount and security cameras around the perimeter would be set up – measures strongly condemned by the Jordanians in the past.
Israel plans to install metal detectors and cameras at site Photo Credit: Israel Police Spokesperson/Channel 2 News
The detention of three members of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, who were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the attack, was extended while four other suspects from the Jerusalem area were arrested on suspicion of incitement and supporting the attack after two days of unprecedented searches at the Temple Mount. As part of the investigation, Israeli police entered the Jordanian-run Waqf’s offices, mosques and other buildings in the plaza, where several weapons and materials of incitement were found.
White House releases statement condemning the attack (Archives) Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Yesterday evening, the White House issued a statement condemning the attack: “Yesterday, the Holy City of Jerusalem – which means ‘City of Peace’ – became a scene of terror…The people of the United States strongly condemn the terror attack. There must be zero tolerance for terrorism. It is incompatible for achieving peace and we must condemn it in the strongest terms, defeat it and eradicate it.”
The White House’s statement also referred to the unusual step taken by Israel to close the holy site and backed the decision, urging “all leaders and people of good faith to be understanding as this proceeds and reaches its conclusion.”