(JNS.org) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday defended his decision to remove additional security measures implemented at the Temple Mount holy site amid widespread public disapproval concerning the move.
"I am in tune with the emotions of wider society, I understand the feelings, I know that the decision that we made [to remove the security measures] was a difficult one," said Netanyahu before the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.
"However, as prime minister of Israel, as the one who carries the security of Israel on his shoulders, it is my duty to make decisions calmly and in an informed manner," he said, adding, "I make these decisions while looking at the wider picture, with a broad view of the challenges and threats that we are facing, some of which the wider public are not aware of and which I cannot detail.”
Netanyahu reiterated the cabinet's decision to approve a $28 million budget for increased security in the Old City of Jerusalem.
According to a poll commissioned by Israel’s Channel 2 during the peak of the Temple Mount crisis last week, more than three-quarters of Israelis said they do not support their government’s decision to remove metal detectors at the Jerusalem holy sites, indicating that the decision denoted Israel’s surrender.
Further, 67 percent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with Netanyahu’s conduct throughout the security crisis.