Is­rael dis­man­tles metal de­tec­tors from key shrine

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

SoulEvo­lu­tion

The 15-hectare es­planade in Jerusalem’s Old City is the third holi­est site of Is­lam and the holi­est of Ju­daism, once home to bib­li­cal tem­ples. It sits on the fault line of the Is­raeli-Pales­tinian con­flict and trig­gered sev­eral ma­jor con­fronta­tions in the past.

In­censed Mus­lims

Is­rael had erected metal de­tec­tors at the gates to the Mus­lim-ad­min­is­tered site last week, af­ter Arab gun­men killed two Is­raeli po­lice guards there.

The move in­censed the Mus­lims, amid al­le­ga­tions that Is­rael was try­ing to ex­pand con­trol over the site un­der the guise of se­cu­rity a claim Is­rael de­nies.

The in­stal­la­tion of the metal de­tec­tors set off wide­spread protests and deadly Is­raeliPales­tinian vi­o­lence over the past week.

The UN en­voy to the Mid­dle East warned on Mon­day that the cri­sis must be re­solved by Fri­day to avoid an es­ca­la­tion of vi­o­lence.

“It is ex­tremely im­por­tant that a so­lu­tion to the cur­rent cri­sis be found by Fri­day this week,” Nick­o­lay Mlade­nov said af­ter brief­ing the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.

“The dan­gers on the ground will es­ca­late if we go through an­other cy­cle of Fri­day prayer without a res­o­lu­tion to this cur­rent cri­sis,” he warned.

Large crowds of Mus­lim wor­ship­pers prayed out­side the shrine in protest ev­ery day, re­fus­ing to pass through the metal de­tec­tors.

Is­rael has de­nied it has a hid­den agenda, por­tray­ing the metal de­tec­tors as a needed means to pre­vent at­tacks.

How­ever, the Is­raeli gov­ern­ment has come un­der grow­ing diplo­matic pres­sure in re­cent days to re­con­sider the de­ci­sion. It also faced grow­ing do­mes­tic crit­i­cism that it had acted hastily, without weigh­ing the reper­cus­sions of in­stalling new de­vices at the volatile site.

Be­fore dawn on Tues­day, work­ers were seen dis­man­tling one of the de­vices at the Old City’s Lion’s Gate, a re­cent flash­point and a scene of nightly mass prayer protests by Mus­lim wor­ship­pers.

I can guar­an­tee you there’s go­ing to be many more peo­ple we’re look­ing for to pros­e­cute.” Thomas Ho­man,

US of­fi­cial

The trailer was al­ready full of peo­ple when the door opened up on a Laredo street. Lara Vega said it was so dark he couldn’t see how many there were. A few were chil­dren, he said, whose voices he later heard beg­ging for wa­ter.

He said the smug­glers didn’t of­fer pas­sen­gers wa­ter, and he and his friends hadn’t brought any with them. The ride to San An­to­nio would only be 240 kilo­me­ters.

Lara Vega said he never saw the driver of the trac­tor-trailer. He said that when peo­ple are be­ing smug­gled, they are told not to look at the faces of their han­dlers and it’s a good idea to obey.

The packed trac­tor-trailer was found early on Sun­day out­side a Wal­mart store. As many as eight pas­sen­gers were dead, and two more would soon die. The driver has been charged in the deaths.

Mex­ico’s for­eign min­istry re­leased a state­ment Mon­day night that said “ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary in­for­ma­tion,” 25 of the mi­grants in­side the rig were Mex­i­can.

Four of those who died and 21 of those hos­pi­tal­ized are Mex­i­can, the state­ment said. Some of the oth­ers in­side the truck were from Gu­atemala.

“Even though they have the driver in cus­tody, I can guar­an­tee you there’s go­ing to be many more peo­ple we’re look­ing for to pros­e­cute,” said Thomas Ho­man, act­ing di­rec­tor of US Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment.

CRAIG F. WALKER / VIA GETTY IM­AGES

Rus­sian artist Pavel Myl­nikov works on his sculp­ture United States. for the Re­vere Beach In­ter­na­tional Sand Sculpt­ing Fes­ti­val in Bos­ton,

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