Fatah official says US is working to solve Al-Aqsa crisis
The U.S. is working to help solve the dispute over Israel putting metal detectors at the entrance of the historic Al-Aqsa Mosque in the wake of a deadly shootout last week, a senior Palestinian official said Wednesday.
"Washington is conducting contacts with Jordan and other Arab countries and with Israel as well with a view to reaching an urgent solution to the current serious situation in Jerusalem," Hatem Abdel-Qader, a member of Fatah movement's Revolutionary Council, told Anadolu Agency.
Abdel-Qader said there are also direct contacts between the Israeli and Jordanian governments on the same issue.
"I have personally learned from Western sources that there is a compromise proposed by Americans to remove the metal detectors from the entrances of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and to only do inspections at the mosque doors," he added.
"So far we have no idea what they mean by inspections, but for our part, we reject physical inspections for every person who opts to enter the mosque," he said.
The Israeli government's installation of metal detectors at the mosque's gates has led to a wave of anger among Palestinians, who called for their immediate removal.
Israel has, however, defended the controversial detectors, claiming they are no different from security measures at other world holy sites.
The beefed-up security follows a shootout last Friday at the mosque's compound which left five people dead.
Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third-holiest site in Islam after the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.