Source: Arab News:
It took a diplomatic crisis with Jordan, following Sunday’s killing of two Jordanians by an Israeli Embassy guard in Amman, to finally shift Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s position on Al-Haram Al-Sharif — two weeks after his far-right government took the controversial decision to install metal detectors at the entrance to the holy compound. And until he and King Abdallah finally resolved the crisis, Jerusalem’s Old City had endured two weeks of tensions that began with July 14’s incident in which two Israeli policemen and three Palestinians (Arab-Israelis) were killed. Israel’s subsequent two-day closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque enraged Palestinians and drew criticism from around the world, and it sparked tensions between Jordan — which has a special role over Muslim holy places in Jerusalem — and Israel.
Against the advice of his own military, Netanyahu went ahead with what everyone else predicted would become a dangerous flashpoint. Installing metal detectors at the entrance of the compound sent a message of defiance to Palestinians, Jordanians and Arab states: That Israel had the final word when it comes to the sensitive issue of Al-Haram Al-Sharif and, by extension, the fate of East Jerusalem. It was a stupid gambit that led to confrontations between Israeli security and the city’s Arab residents, culminating in last Friday’s violence that resulted in hundreds of injuries and at least three deaths among Palestinians who were protesting the Israeli measures.
Still Netanyahu refused to budge, even as he insisted that he was committed to preserving the historical status quo of Al-Aqsa. Meanwhile, protests in the Old City continued and it was clear that they would not stop until Israel backed down. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas vowed not to allow Israel to change Al-Aqsa’s status and announced that the Palestinian Authority (PA) was freezing all contacts with Israel.