Shaky Calm Returns To Jerusalem After Weekend Clashes
Tensions have partially dissipated in Jerusalem and the West Bank following a weekend of clashes between Muslim worshipers and Israeli security forces over the ongoing Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa Mosque crisis. Palestinian leaders warned that the conflict was not yet over, however, despite Israel having removed metal detectors and other security infrastructure placed at the compound in the aftermath of an attack by three Israeli Muslims that killed two police officers. While Islamic religious leaders ended a two-week boycott of the complex last Thursday, they nevertheless complained of new restrictions barring entry to those under 50 years old; a move implemented by Israeli authorities meant to prevent the likelihood of further violence. King Abdullah II of Jordan—the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem—spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump to express his support for Washington’s “important role” in defusing the situation. For its part, the White House described the prevailing conditions as “contained,” a sentiment echoed by Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who also reiterated that his government “acted correctly” during the ordeal. Despite the lull in violence, police face another potentially turbulent week with more than 1,000 Jews expected to visit the flashpoint holy site on the Fast of the Ninth of Av this Tuesday.