Could this be the end of the crisis? The Jerusalem Mufti called upon Muslims to return to the Temple Mount. “The situation has returned to normal – we are satisfied with the removal of the inspection measures,” he stated. The Jerusalem Islamic Waqf also announced his approval to return to worship at the Al-Aqsa mosque.
Celebrations at the Temple Mount
After a week in which prayers were held outside of the Temple Mount, due to the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf’s instructions for Muslims to refuse the Israeli inspections necessary in order to enter the compound, the Jerusalem Mufti announced this morning (Thursday) to all worshippers that they are allowed to return to pray on the Temple Mount. “The situation has returned to normal and we will pray at Al-Aqsa,” the Mufti said during an impromptu press conference.
“We are satisfied that Israel removed all of the inspection measures at the Temple Mount’s entrance,” the Mufti stated to the al-Arabia news agency. In addition, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement to the press that afternoon prayers will be held at Al-Aqsa. “I praise Jerusalem residents, who stood during the past difficult days,” Abbas said.
Could this be the end of the Temple Mount crisis? Photo Credit: Channel 2 News
The Jordanian government, which cooperated with Israel to end the crisis, also congratulated the Palestinians on the removal of the security measures and stated that is “a necessary step to ease tensions” in the Palestinian territories and the holy Muslim sites. Jordan’s government spokesman Mohammad Al Momani told Petra News that “Israel is an occupying power and is not entitled to impose measures that change the status quo.”
Worshipers return to Temple Mount Photo credit: Channel 2 News
During the night, the security at the Temple Mount has completely returned to its state prior to the terror attack.
— JerusalemOnline (@JOL_NEWS) July 27, 2017
Meanwhile, the IDF and the police are preparing for clashes this weekend in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, partly due to Hamas’ calls for further protests. Therefore, it was decided to keep 5 battalions in the West Bank for reinforcement and prevention of escalations. The police stated that over the past several days, dozens of police officers have been injured as a result of rocks and Molotov cocktails being thrown at them.
Hamas celebrations in Gaza Photo credit: Twitter/ Channel 2 News
In addition, there has been an increase in the number of arrests due to more warnings of planned terrorist attacks. During the situation assessments that will take place later in the day, the police will consider the possibility of restricting the entrance to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount tomorrow.