Ma’an News Agency | – –
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Following deadly clashes that erupted across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and besieged Gaza Strip on Friday in protest of continued Israeli-imposed restrictions on Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Islamic Trust, or Waqf — in charge of running the holy site — has confirmed that all Israeli restrictions have been lifted and gates have been opened for Palestinians of all ages from occupied East Jerusalem, Israel, or those with Israeli permits from the occupied West Bank to perform Asr (afternoon) prayers at Al-Aqsa.
During dhuhr (noon) prayers, when protests erupted across the occupied Palestinian territory, scores of Palestinians were prevented from praying at Al-Aqsa amid two weeks of unrest over Israeli policies at the holy site.
Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said that the security measures at Al-Aqsa were only meant to apply to dhuhr prayers on Friday, adding that after the noon prayer Palestinians of all ages would be permitted to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque.
— المُهَاجـِرة (@Marwa_waz) July 28, 2017
Mahmoud added that the Palestinians were released under the following conditions: if they were a resident of the Old City in Jerusalem, they were banned from Al-Aqsa Mosque for two weeks; If they lived outside the Old City, they were banned from the Old City for two weeks; If residing outside of Jerusalem, they were banned from Jerusalem for two weeks.
The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society had reported earlier on Friday that 21 Palestinians were banned from Al-Aqsa for 15 days.
What was hailed as a rare victory for Palestinians, after thousands participated in a nearly two-week civil disobedience campaign and successfully demanded the removal of Israeli security measures at the holy site, was quickly transformed into violent clashes on Thursday when Israeli forces raided Al-Aqsa Mosque as thousands of Palestinians had entered the site for the first time since July 14.
Israeli authorities subsequently imposed new restrictions on the compound Friday morning, barring Palestinian men under the age of 50 from entering Al-Aqsa, the third holiest site in Islam.
Palestinians continued mass demonstrations across the occupied Palestinian territory in protest of the new restrictions on Al-Aqsa. The protests turned deadly after a 16-year-old Palestinian was shot to death by Israeli forces in Gaza, while another Palestinian in the Jerusalem-area town of al-Ram was reported in critical condition after being shot by Israeli-fired live ammunition.
According to Ma’an documentation, six Palestinians were killed by Israelis, one of whom was killed by an Israeli settler, since mass protests were organized among Palestinians over the past week to protest Israel’s policies at Al-Aqsa.
Palestinians have celebrated their successful protests around Al-Aqsa in the context of routine Israeli violations of Palestinian life and properties in East Jerusalem, which makes such victories seldom amid Israel’s continued occupation of the territory.
Related video added by Juan Cole: