>> Metal detectors being removed from the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in an apparent u-turn by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and after more than a week of the bloodiest clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in years.
rael put the security measures in place after two policemen were shot dead by an Israeli-Arab gunman who had smuggled weapons into the compound, which is known as Noble Sanctuary to Muslims and Temple Mount to Jews.
But as Luke Baker, Reuter's Bureau Chief in Jerusalem explains, that decision ignited tensions.>> Rather than merely tightening security, the move angered many Palestinians. They felt that sovereignty was being imposed by Israel in the area which they considered to be occupied by Israeli forces. They also felt that their freedom to access the noble sanctuary was in some respects being restricted.
And they also wanted Jordan which is the custodian of the holy site to have been more deeply consulted on the move. What we've seen as a result is more than a week of violent clashes between Palestinian worshipers, and in some cases, stone throwing gangs, and Israeli security forces.
Three Palestinians have been shot and killed, and a Palestinian attacked an Israeli family in a settlement, killing three people.>> Show restraint.>> That prompted the UN Security Council to convene a meeting in a bid to calm the situation. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also suspended official contacts with Israel over the crisis.
But, reluctant to capitulate to Palestinian pressure, Netanyahu said on Sunday that the metal detectors were staying put. That decision was reversed earlier on Tuesday morning after a meeting lasting several hours. A statement issued by senior ministers at that forum said they had decided to act on the recommendations of security advisors and would replace the metal detectors with a quote smart checking system.