A day before the planned massive Friday prayer, the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported that international efforts to resolve Temple Mount crisis are being conducted. It is possible that the metal detectors from the entrances to the site will be removed. Fatah official: “Israel must reach a decision tonight.”

Temple Mount

Temple Mount Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

An outline plan to resolve the tensions surrounding the metal detectors at the Temple Mount is developing, according to a report by the Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat published this morning (Thursday), following the international efforts, with the help of the US, to resolve the ongoing crisis. The main idea is that the metal detectors at the entrances to the site will be removed but the security screening will continue.

Fatah official Hatem Abdel Qader, overseer of the Jerusalem issue, said that the US is pressuring Israel to accept the deal, which was developed with the help of Jordan. According to Qader, the Palestinian side consents to the screening of suspects or suspicious baggage but will not agree to the screening of every person wishing to enter the Temple Mount. The Palestinian official added that Israel must reach a final decision on the matter tonight. Israeli officials have yet to address the report.

The metal detector issue is at heart of discussions between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the security forces concerning the overall situation at the Temple Mount.

According to a report published yesterday, a compromise on the Israeli side was possibly reached, according to which the metal detector screenings will be selective and the rest of the visitors pass without screening. However, the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf organization’s agreement on the matter remains unknown.

The security forces remain concerned about the matter due to the plan to hold a massive Muslim prayer on Friday and time is running short for solving the crisis.

Temple Mount entrance

Temple Mount entrance Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

The White House released an official statement on the issue Wednesday night, expressing its concern about the escalation at the Temple Mount, stating: “The United States is very concerned about tensions surrounding the Temple Mount/Haram Al-Sharif, a site holy to Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and calls upon the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to make a good faith effort to reduce tensions and to find a solution that assures public safety and the security of the site and maintains the status quo.”