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The Turkish-Israeli rift over the Haram al-Sharif

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Israel’s decision to remove the metal detectors from the entrance to the Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Israelis as the Temple Mount, seems to have assuaged recent tensions. The issue, however, still has the potential to upset the shaky regional order. What’s more, given the recent diplomatic spat between Turkey and Israel over Jerusalem, any further escalation poses a risk to the countries’ normalization process.

Everything started with a terror attack on July 14 that killed two Israeli policemen and three attackers outside Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque. Responding immediately, Israel ordered a 48-hour closure of the Haram al-Sharif. But as the gates were reopened, metal detectors were installed to prevent any smuggling of arms into the religious compound.

Israel’s move sparked a new wave of violence in Jerusalem’s Old City, leading to protests and deadly clashes outside the gates, as Muslims boycotted the al-Aqsa Mosque over the security searches.

While Israel’s government defended the decision as a security measure, Muslims–who already contest Israel’s control of East Jerusalem–interpreted the move as an attempt to change the........

© Hürriyet Daily News