Elation as Israel opens all gates to al-Aqsa
JERUSALEM: Israeli forces dismantled security measures installed at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem late on Wednesday and reopened all the gates to the compound yesterday afternoon.
It was celebrated as a victory by Palestinian Jerusalemites as Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian religious leaders said prayers could now resume at the compound.
Following worshippers’ elation on Wednesday night, tensions re-emerged yesterday afternoon after Israeli forces reportedly prevented al-Aqsa security guards from reopening one of the gates to the compound, as Palestinians said they would continue boycotting the compound until all entrances to al-Aqsa were opened.
However, the last gate of the compound was opened later in the afternoon, prompting thousands to enter the compound for the first time in two weeks.
Following a deadly shooting at al-Aqsa in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem on July 14, Israeli authorities installed heightened security measures at the mosque, sparking a widespread civil disobedience campaign among local Palestinians, who have been met with strong repression at the hands of Israeli forces.
Palestinians said the Israeli move was a means of furthering control over important sites in the occupied Palestinian territory and normalising repressive measures against Palestinians. Ma’an