After massive pressure from the Muslim world and international community, Israel removed all metal detectors and surveillance-camera infrastructure from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the location of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Possibly to obfuscate the reason that the metal detectors were installed in the first place -- a terrorist attack on July 14, in which three Israeli Arab citizens killed two Israeli Druze police officers with weapons they had hidden inside the mosque -- the Palestinian Authority (PA) called on Muslims to boycott the site and launch "days of rage" against the Jewish state.
Palestinians, claiming that the metal detectors were a "desecration" of the mosque -- which is actually located on the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam - entered into violent clashes with Israeli security forces. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced Israel and called on Muslims to "protect" Jerusalem.
Palestinians near Jerusalem's Old City protest Israel's installation of metal detectors at entrances to the Temple Mount, although the metal detectors had already been removed days before, on July 28, 2017. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
A Palestinian teenager posted on Facebook his intention to become a "martyr," before entering the home of a Jewish family in the West Bank and slaughtering three of its members. While this terrorist was being treated for his wounds in an Israeli hospital, the Palestinian Authority celebrated his actions and set in motion the mechanism according to which he will receive a salary of more than $3,000 per month for his attempt to become a "martyr" through murdering Jews.
Then, on July 23, a terrorist in Jordan -- the country that has religious custodianship over the Temple Mount through the Islamic Waqf -- attacked an Israeli security officer at the Israeli embassy compound in Amman. In self-defense, the officer shot and killed him, catching another Jordanian in the crossfire. In an deal between Israel and the Jordanian authorities, the guard and other embassy staff were released, apparently in exchange for a promise that the metal detectors would be removed from the entrance to the Temple Mount.
The metal detectors, however, had nothing to do with the real reason for the inflamed atmosphere -- stoked by PA President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction and the terrorist organization Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip -- in spite of the fact that the attack that spurred their installation was committed by Israeli Muslims against Israeli Druze. In reality, the security measures were taken by Israel to protect all people entering the site -- where only Muslims are allowed to pray, while Christians and Jews may visit only under strict surveillance.
Proof that the violence was not provoked by measures that were actually aimed at preventing terrorists from infiltrating deadly weapons onto the Temple Mount lies in the fact that metal detectors and are commonplace at most prominent mosques in the Middle East, and more than 5,000 surveillance cameras (and 100,000 security guards) monitor pilgrims to Mecca in Saudi Arabia during the annual Hajj. Furthermore, everyone visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem, another Jewish holy site, is required to pass through metal detectors before entering the plaza -- a protection taken for granted.
The ongoing incitement against Israelis -- this time using metal detectors as the excuse to claim that the Jewish state is attempting to change the "status quo" on the Temple Mount -- not only disgraces Islam; it hurts the Palestinians whom the world claims to want to defend.
It is time for the international community to recognize this and stop enabling radicals to use the Palestinian people as pawns in their greater agenda, transparent to everyone, including all Muslims: to obliterate Israel through delegitimization.
Khadija Khan is a Pakistani journalist and commentator, currently based in Germany.