Muslim leaders have lifted a boycott of a key holy site in East Jerusalem after Israel removed the last of the security measures which had led to uproar. They urged Palestinians to re-enter the compound on Thursday for the first time since the crisis erupted two weeks ago.
The last remnants of Israel’s recently installed security apparatus were taken away on Thursday morning. Palestinians had fiercely objected to the measures introduced after the killing of two Israeli policemen. They had refrained from entering the Old City complex known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount in protest over what they saw as an Israeli attempt to exert control over the contested site.
Palestinians sang, danced and let off fireworks as railings and security camera gantries were removed from the Lions’ Gate entrance near the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif in the early hours of Thursday morning. “For 12 days no-one has slept, no-one has done anything except the al-Aqsa mosque,” bystander Firas Abasi told AFP news agency.