Israel installs new security cameras at Aqsa entrance amid crisis
Israel installed new security cameras at the entrance to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday, as officials said they were considering alternatives to metal detectors at the site which have sparked deadly clashes.
Israel unilaterally imposed the new security measures after a gun and knife attack killed two Israeli policemen on 14 July, a move seen as challenging the delicate status quo of the holy site.
Palestinians in Jerusalem mobilised en-masse against the metal detectors, boycotting entry to the al-Aqsa mosque and praying instead in surrounding city streets.
Three Palestinians were killed during huge protests last Friday in some of the worst street violence in years, including one reportedly shot dead by an Israeli settler in East Jerusalem.
Nearly 400 others were injured in clashes across the West Bank, with injuries ranging from live bullet wounds to burns, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
Later that evening a Palestinian stabbed to death three Israeli settlers north of Ramallah, all members of the same family, while on Saturday another two Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli forces.
"The only thing we want is to ensure no one can enter with weapons again and carry out another attack," Major General Yoav Mordechai - head of COGAT, the Israeli defence ministry agency responsible for civilian affairs in the Palestinian territories, said.
"We're willing to examine alternatives to the metal detectors as long as the solution of alternative ensures the prevention of the next attack."
'Reject all measures of the occupation'
The Mufti of Jerusalem, however, rejected the installation of security cameras.
Sheikh Muhammad Hussein told the Voice of Palestine that he demands a complete return to procedures in place before the 14 July attack.
Islamic institution in Jerusalem, of which the Mufti is a part, said they "affirm the categorical rejection of the electronic gates and all the measures of occupation," a statement said.
Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said he would continue to support the metal detectors remaining in place unless police provide a satisfactory alternative.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is facing mounting pressure over the crisis, will hold a cabinet meeting on Sunday morning and is due to meet with his security cabinet later in the day.
Disputes over control and access to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, have set off major rounds of violence in the past.
In 2000, then Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon's visit to the compound helped ignite the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, which lasted more than four years and killed more than 5,000 people, the majority Palestinians.
The holy site is located in East Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.
It is recognised as occupied Palestinian territory under international law.
Agencies contributed to this report.