TEL AVIV – An overwhelming majority of Israelis (77%) believe that the government’s decision to remove metal detectors at the Temple Mount following rioting by Muslims signified capitulation on Israel’s part, according to a poll commissioned by Israel’s Channel 2.
In the poll of 502 Israeli adults, conducted by Midgam Research & Consulting, 68% of respondents said installing metal detectors at the Temple Mount’s gates following a terror attack there that saw two Israeli-Druze policemen murdered by three Arab gunmen two weeks ago was the correct move.
More than three-quarters of all respondents said the subsequent decision to remove them 10 days later was a sign of surrender.
Sixty-seven percent of those polled also said they were dissatisfied with the way Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu handled the security crisis at the holy site.
On Tuesday night, Israel removed the metal detectors in lieu of “security measures based on advanced technologies,” which in all likelihood referred to cameras that are able to detect concealed weapons. However, those too were removed and Palestinians hailed a victory by converging on the Temple Mount for afternoon prayers on Thursday.
“Things have returned to what they were, so we will pray in Al Aqsa,” the Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammed Hussein told the Saudi-based news station Al Arabiye. The mufti was carried by rejoicing protestors through the Hula gate, the entrance used by the gunmen to smuggle in weapons on July 14. Protesters surrounding the area of the gate engaged in violent clashes with Israeli security forces before the gate was opened. The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that dozens had been injured in the melee.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also gave the green light to return to the holy site after the 12-day boycott, and according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, Abbas reassured Palestinians that everything had returned to the way it was before the attack.