JERUSALEM, Israel – The Palestinian Authority and Islamic religious authorities said Israel's removal of recently installed metal detectors and security cameras at an entrance to the Temple Mount is not enough.
Both entities further rejected the Security Cabinet's decision to replace the metal detectors with more advanced surveillance, including "smart cameras," which will take up to six months to be ready to use at an estimated cost of $23 million.
P.A. Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah called the decision "unacceptable," the Palestinian Authority's official Ma'an news agency reported Tuesday.
The removal of the metal detectors, however, will not affect P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas' recent decision to suspend all contacts with Israel, outside of security cooperation on which he's dependent both in Judea and Samaria and on the Temple Mount. The P.A. and the Jordanian Wakf rejected the measure as "insufficient."
According to Ma'an, the protests over the security measures reflect the "latest instance of Israeli authorities using Israeli-Palestinian violence as a means of furthering control over important sites in the occupied Palestinian territory and normalizing repressive measures against Palestinians."
A recent poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research revealed that 62 percent of the population would like to see Abbas resign, 55 percent in Judea and Samaria and 75 percent in Gaza.
According to the survey, the popularity of the 82-year-old leader, elected in 2005 to a four-year term, is waning. The center does, however, support paying salaries to prisoners convicted of terror-related crimes, including murder.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights takes it a step further, saying suspending payments to former prisoners is "illegal, immoral and violates the Basic Law and the international human rights law."
Meanwhile, a majority of Israelis did not support removing the metal detectors, saying the decision amounts to surrender.
The latest poll by Midgam and iPanel, reported by Israel's Channel 2 and posted by Arutz Sheva, revealed that 68 percent of Israelis supported the upgraded security measures and 77 percent said removing them was wrong.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn't fare much better. Sixty-seven percent of respondents disapproved of the way he handled the situation that began on July 14, when two Israeli police officers were gunned down on the Temple Mount. Only 23 percent of those surveyed were satisfied with the prime minister's decisions, while 10 percent were undecided.
As CBN News reported Tuesday, some believe Netanyahu worked out a deal with Jordanian King Abdullah II to remove the security apparatus in exchange for the release of Israel's ambassador to Jordan and the security guard who shot a Jordanian youth and the owner of the compound where the embassy is located after he was stabbed with a screwdriver. It was the third terror attack against Israelis in 10 days. The second took place last Friday in the Samaria Jewish community of Halamish, also known as Neve Tzuf.
A 19-year-old terrorist from a nearby Arab village breeched the security fence at Halamish and entered the home of a family celebrating the birth of its newest grandchild on erev Shabbat (Sabbath evening). He stabbed three members of the family to death and critically injured a fourth. They were laid to rest on Sunday. The terrorist will receive a monthly salary of $3,120 for the rest of his life, the Palestinian Media Watch reported.