Tension has grown in the Middle East over the Temple Mount, the historic religious site in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Israeli officials recently installed metal detectors at the site. The security efforts have ramped up confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians.
Amid a mounting toll of deaths and injuries in the crisis, Israelis and Palestinians are braced for weeks of confrontation.
“Amid a mounting toll of deaths and injuries in the crisis, Israelis and Palestinians are braced for weeks of confrontation, as both sides appeared to dig in to their positions,” The Guardian noted over the weekend.
The Temple Mount has important significance in the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths.
Earlier this month, an Israeli embassy security guard shot two Jordanians in Amman, Jordan, according to reports. One had allegedly attacked the guard.
“An Israeli security officer at the embassy in Amman was stabbed by a Jordanian worker who had entered the embassy compound for routine furniture replacement,” the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. “The security officer, the Jordanian landlord, and two Jordanian workers were present. One of the workers attacked the Israeli security official from the rear and began stabbing him with a screwdriver.”
This contributed to the current security crisis at the Temple Mount.
“Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian posts online have dealt with the violence in recent days, and a relatively high number of young people, both male and female, have threatened to carry out attacks because of the Temple Mount events,” according to Haaretz.
Other acts of violence have escalated in the area as well.
“Israel implemented the Temple Mount security measures following a terror attack 11 days ago, in which three Israeli Arabs attacked and killed two border policemen with weapons that had been hidden on the Temple Mount,” the Christian Broadcasting Network reported.
One of President Donald Trump’s aides arrived in Israel on Monday. Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s adviser on Israel, in efforts to reduce tension in the region.
“Since last week, the White House has been holding talks with Israel, Jordan, the Palestinians and other entities in the Arab world in an effort to find a solution to the Temple Mount crisis and stop the violence from escalating further, according to Israeli officials and Arab diplomats who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the matter,” Haaretz reported.
Vice President Mike Pence last week voiced Trump’s administration’s commitment to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“Under President Donald Trump,’ Pence said last week, “if the world knows nothing else, then the world will know this: America stands with Israel, now and always.”
(photo credit, homepage image: Idobi; photo credit, article image: Andrew Shiva)