TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The Zionist regime of Israel removed an overhead metal bridge and the railings it had recently installed near a contested Jerusalem (al-Quds) holy site, causing thousands of Palestinians to celebrate in the streets early Thursday.
Muslim leaders said they would decide later in the day whether worshippers could return to the mosque for prayers and end a crisis that Israel hoped it had resolved by making concessions at the site.
The head of the Supreme Islamic Committee, Ikrema Sabri, had said previously that worshippers would not return to the mosque until Israel removed the new railings and cameras it installed after a deadly attack there.
Sabri said that even after Israel removed metal detectors, more steps were required to restore calm. He said mass prayer protests would continue until the gates of the compound are opened, metal railings and an iron bridge removed and newly installed cameras removed.
"We will not enter the mosque until these things are implemented," Sabri told The Associated Press.
"Now we are awaiting the response of the police."
The demands set off the prospect of a renewed showdown ahead of Friday prayers, when a large number of worshippers arrive for the centerpiece of the Muslim prayer week.
It was unclear whether Israel's removal of the railings and overhead bridge would meet the demands, but Palestinians danced, chanted "God is Great" and set off fireworks early Thursday.
Israel installed the new security measures earlier this month after two Israeli police officers were killed in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Red Crescent released a statement recently detailing the casualties of the past 10 days, ever since Palestinians in East Jerusalem launched a civil disobedience campaign in the city in protest of increased Israeli security measures at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
According to the group, approximately 1,090 Palestinians had been injured since Israeli authorities installed metal detectors, turnstiles, and additional security cameras in the compound following a deadly shooting attack at al-Aqsa on July 14.
The Tel Aviv regime has tried to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem over the past decades by constructing settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.
Palestinians say the Israeli measures are aimed at paving the way for the Judaization of the city.
The al-Aqsa Mosque compound is a flashpoint Islamic site, which is also holy to Jews. The mosque is Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.