The Latest: Israel gives police free hand on shrine security

0
108
A Palestinian man walks towards a metal detector at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, Wednesday, July 19, 2017. A dispute over metal detectors has escalated into a new showdown between Israel and the Muslim world over the contested Jerusalem shrine that has been at the center of violent confrontations in the past. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

(AP) — The Latest on developments in Israel (all times local):

9:30 a.m.

- Advertisement -

A spokesman has confirmed reports that Israel’s government has decided not to overrule an earlier police decision to install metal detectors at a contested Jerusalem holy shrine.

Spokesman David Keyes says the decision was made early Friday by Israel’s security Cabinet after an overnight meeting.

The decision to defer to police came amid reports of disagreement among Israel’s security services about the need for the metal detectors, which were installed after Palestinian gunmen carried out a deadly attack from the shrine last week.

Muslims have called for mass protests later Friday.

The military and the Shin Bet security services, which deal directly with Palestinians, were reportedly opposed to the devices.

The Cabinet decision came despite appeals by Israel’s security ally Jordan, custodian of the shrine, to remove the detectors.

___

9:15 a.m.

An advocacy group says Israeli police have detained 10 prominent Palestinian activists in Jerusalem, including the leader of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement in the city.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club says the city’s Fatah chief, Hatem Abdel Khader, was among those detained.

Israeli police were not available for comment.

The detentions came ahead of expected Palestinian mass protests over Israel’s decision to install metal detectors at a contested holy site in Jerusalem. Muslim leaders have urged worshippers to pray in the streets Friday rather than walk through metal detectors.

Israel installed the devices after Palestinian gunmen launched a deadly attack from there.

Muslim leaders allege the metal detectors are part of a purported Israeli attempt to expand control over the site.

Israel has denied such allegations.

___

8 a.m.

An Israeli police spokesman says police are banning Muslim men under the age of 50 from a contested Jerusalem shrine ahead of feared mass protests over the installation of metal detectors there.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Friday that reinforcements are being deployed in and around Jerusalem’s Old City, where the walled shrine is located.

He says: “Police and border police units mobilized in all areas and neighborhoods.”

Muslim leaders have called for mass protests at Friday noon prayers. They urged worshippers to pray outside the shrine rather than submit to security procedures.

The shrine is revered by Muslims and Jews. Muslim leaders allege Israel is trying to expand its control there by installing the security devices. Police took the action after Palestinians launched a deadly attack from there.