Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is weighing whether to remove metal detectors at a Jerusalem holy site whose installation after a deadly attack last week has stoked Palestinian protests, an Israeli cabinet minister said on Thursday.
There have been nightly confrontations between Palestinians hurling rocks and Israeli police using stun grenades in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem since the devices were placed on Sunday at entrances to the Temple Mount-Noble Sanctuary compound.
Tensions remain high ahead of Friday prayers when thousands of Muslims usually flock to al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest shrine, in the compound above Judaism’s sacred Western Wall.
Muslim religious authorities, who say the metal detectors violate a delicate agreement on worship and security arrangements at the site, have been urging Palestinians not to pass through, and prayers have been held near an entrance to the complex.
Netanyahu was due to hold security consultations over the issue, and likely decide on a course of action, on his return to Israel later in the day from visits to France and Hungary, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said.
Far-right members of Netanyahu’s government have publicly urged him to keep the devices in place at the flashpoint site—Reuters