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Abbas backs calls to resume prayers in Jerusalem's shrine

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-27 20:24
Abbas backs calls to resume prayers in Jerusalem's shrine

Palestinian children hold candles during a protest against Israel's newly-installed security measures at the entrance to the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip July 23, 2017.[Photo/Agencies]

RAMALLAH -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that the prayers will be resumed in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, after Israeli authorities removed all the controversial security measures.

Palestinian top Muslim clerics called the same day for ending the protests and resume prayers in the mosque, while cautioning against any other Israeli interventions in the holy Islamic site.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry also congratulated the Palestinians for the big achievement they realized against Israeli occupation, calling for the full return of the historical and legal status of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to media report.

Jerusalem's top Muslim cleric, Mohamed Hussein, said that the demands of Palestinians are to enter freely into Al-Aqsa Mosque from all its gates and without age restrictions.

Israeli authorities dismantled before dawn the metal detectors, surveillance cameras and metal structures it installed at the entrance of the mosque.

Palestinians have been protesting at the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque and throughout the West Bank since Israel closed down the mosque and started installing new metal detectors and surveillance cameras at the entrances to the holy site, in the wake of a shooting attack that left three Palestinians and two Israeli security officers killed near the mosque on July 14.

Israeli authorities then shut down Al-Aqsa Mosque for two days, while clashes erupted in several locations in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, killing nine Palestinians and injuring over 500 others, with dozens others arrested.

Abbas, due to public pressure, has decided to freeze all contact with Israel, unless all measures taken after July 14 are revoked.
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