My Mideast Punchlines: pistol-packin’ package deal…

Israel has removed metal detectors from outside a holy site in East Jerusalem after uproar from Palestinians over their recent introduction.

Israel’s security cabinet voted early on Tuesday to remove and replace them with a package of less obtrusive surveillance devices.

There were deadly clashes after the metal detectors were set up, which Palestinians saw as an Israeli attempt to assert control over the site.

Israel said they were necessary to prevent weapons being smuggled in.

It followed the killing on 14 July of two Israeli policemen by Israeli-Arab gunmen, who police say had hidden their weapons on the hilltop site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and Muslims as Haram al-Sharif.

There may be no truth to the rumour that the new surveillance methods include cameras that see through clothing. To paraphrase the inimitable Mae West: is that a pistol you’re packin’ in your pyjamas, or are you just pleased to see me?

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