Arab League: Israel is playing with fire when it tries to change the status quo in Jerusalem

Israeli police officers and private security guards guard near metal detectors that was placed to enter the Temple Mount at the Lion's Gate, in Jerusalem's Old City, July 23, 2017. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Arab League has called on Israel to remove its increased security from the entrance of the Temple Mount, the League accusing Israel of “Judaization” of Old City Jerusalem, claiming that Israel is trying to “change the status quo in the Holy City”.

On Sunday morning, Secretary General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, declared that “Jerusalem is a red line, Arabs and Muslims will not allow harm to it. Israel is playing with fire when it tries to change the status quo in the Holy City, especially the al-Aksa mosque.” He claimed that Israel is “trying to take over the Old City although no other country recognizes its sovereignty there, and it is considered one the most final status issues between Israel and the Palestinians.”

His remarks come following the Palestinian Authority’s announcement Sunday morning that it has discontinued security cooperation with Israel in the West Bank. This comes following the massacre of Yosef Salomon and his two children on Sabbath night (Friday).

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud previously announced that he would freeze relations with Israel. He stated on Friday that “Relations with Israel will be frozen at all levels until Israel commits itself to canceling all its steps against the Palestinian people as a whole and against the city of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in particular, and to committing itself to preserving the historical and legal situation in Al-Aqsa.”

The Palestinian Authority claims the metal detectors are an act against the Palestinians and a threat to their freedom of worship at the Temple Mount.

Arab-Israeli members of parliament (MK’s) met last week, Arab-Israeli MK Jamal Zahalka claiming that the increased security is a “unilateral move” in violation of international law. He also claimed that the terrorist attack was an “isolated event” and that Israel is punishing “hundreds of thousands of people” with heightened security. He stated that “We are against any unilateral moves that go against the 1967 agreement and international law. This is an excuse to impose a new situation. What happened [the terrorist attack] was rare — such a thing hasn’t happened in 50 years. This was an isolated event and now they [Israel] want to punish hundreds of thousands of people.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the situation, stating that Israel is actively working to assess the situation and continue to act with “composure, determination and responsibility. He stated on Sunday “Since the beginning of the events, I have held a series of meetings and assessed the situation with all the security forces, including those in the field. We are receiving an updated picture of the situation and recommendations for action, and we are acting accordingly… We are conducting this with composure, determination and responsibility, and we will continue to do so in order to maintain security.”

Israel implemented the security measures after two Israeli policemen, Staff Sgt. Maj. Kamil Shnaan, 22, from Maghar and Sgt. Maj. Ha’il Sitawe, 30, a Druze from Maghar, were killed and a third injured in a terror attack in Old City Jerusalem last Friday morning. Three terrorists, all Arab Israelis from the Arab town of Umm al-Fahm not far from Haifa, opened fired on policemen close to the Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem. The terrorists were chased down and shot and killed close to the Temple Mount.

On Friday evening (Sabbath) a 19- Palestinian terrorist snuck into the home in the settlement of Halamish stabbing and killing Yosef Salomon, 70, and his children, Chaya, 46, and Elad, 26, to death, wounding Mrs. Salomon. They will be laid to rest on Sunday.

The terrorists is currently being treated for wounds in an Israeli hospital.

Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called on the PA to condemn the attack, stating over the weekend “We demand that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas explicitly and clearly condemn this massacre committed against an innocent family that posed no danger to anyone.”

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, July 23, 2017, and reposted with permission.

Click below to watch Amir’s recent update on the Temple Mount situation.