Israel dismantles metal detectors from key shrine
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.
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,
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.
Russian artist Pavel Mylnikov works on his sculpture United States. for the Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival in Boston,