Israel has installed security cameras at a contested shrine in Jerusalem after the introduction of metal detectors sparked a violent backlash. Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians have killed six people over the weekend in the highest escalation of violence for two years. Palestinians are accusing Israel of trying to take control of the holy site – known to Muslims as Haram al Sharif and to Jews as Temple Mount – after authorities installed metal detectors at its door. The security measures were put forward by Israel after Arab gunmen opened fire from inside the shrine, killing two police officers.
Image: Security cameras installed at the al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem
Israeli officials have said they are open to adopting alternative security measures in order to reduce tensions, but have warned they will not remove the metal detectors. Israeli minister for regional development Tzachi Hanegbi told Army Radio the detectors “will remain”. “The murderers will never tell us how to search the murderers,” he said. “If they do not want to enter the mosque, then let them not enter the mosque.”
On Friday, several thousand Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Image: A Palestinian protester moves a burning tyre as he takes cover during clashes
Three Palestinians were killed and dozens of others were wounded after protesters burned tyres and threw stones and firecrackers . Israeli troops responded with live rounds, rubber bullets and tear gas. Late on Friday night, a 20-year-old Palestinian identified as Omar al Abed jumped over the fence of the Halamish settlement and fatally stabbed a man and his two sons as they celebrated a newborn. An Israeli officer said: “This has nothing to do with metal detectors . There is no justification for murdering a grandfather at a party to celebrate the birth of his new grandson.” Israel has repeatedly accused the Palestinian Authority and President Mahmoud Abbas of permitting anti-Israeli incitement in the their discourse. Mr Abbas announced he would “freeze” ties with Israel “on all levels” until the new security measures were removed.
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A journalist has told how her tampons were seized and scanned as she went through airport security in Egypt s capital city Cairo1. BBC news producer Claire Read was questioned at airport screening barriers and forced to explain what a tampon was after a security officer found the sanitary product tucked in her pocket. Menstruation in Egypt2 is often known as ma ib which translates as shameful . Girls and women are not typically offered tampons because of fears they could break the hymen, which is often seen as a sign of virginity.
Travellers: Passengers walk outside the arrivals hall at Cairo airport. (AFP/Getty Images)
After explaining what the tampon was, Ms Read said: I asked the female guard if she’d like to see the instructions from the box of tampons I had in my suitcase, and she looked askance, saying You’ve got more? ! We’ll have to put them through the scanner by themselves. She added: This encounter is in fact typical of many Egyptian women’s reactions to being presented with a tampon, or the idea of one.
I had previously had a similar exchange with a colleague caught short at the office who turned down my offer of a tampon after she understood what it was. After the sanitary products were put through the suitcase scanner and cleared security, the airport worker asked if she could buy them in Egypt.
Ms Read wrote: I told her with delight that indeed you can, and suggested she keep the instructions . She did, and I wish I had given her some of the tampons.
But I’m minded now always to keep a tampon in my pocket at airport security to bring more women into the fold. According to British-Egyptian journalist and women s rights advocate Shereen El Feki, who has written Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World, there are traditional beliefs about menstrual blood being impure and an unwillingness to use tampons because of blood staying in the body.