Palestinians to resume prayers at Al-Aqsa mosque after withdrawal of Israel’s controversial security measures

Many Palestinian factions considered Israel's withdrawal of controversial security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque as “a victory” for the whole Palestinian people.

"We affirm that what happened today [Thursday] was a bright and victorious page in the history of Palestine," head of political bureau of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement.

His remarks came after the Israeli authorities removed the last remnants of security measures in Al-Aqsa Mosque.

"Our people and the people of Al-Quds [Jerusalem] have proved that they are the superior custodians of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Islamic and Christian holy places there," Haniyeh said.

Haniyeh went on to say that the joint national action by different Palestinian factions and the ordinary people was one of the reasons behind “success in this battle".

For its part, the Islamic Jihad Movement commented: "This victory could not have been achieved without the unity of our people… first and foremost, the [Al-Aqsa Mosque] religious authorities."

"We congratulate our whole nation on this victory as the Israeli enemy kneeled to the will of the Palestinian people's resistance," said Mohammad al-Hindi, a member of the movement's political bureau.

Al-Hindi said: “This achievement is a lesson for Israel that its strength is limited in the face of the spirit of resistance and sacrifices of Palestinian people."

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) termed the Israel's removal of the latest security measures in the Al-Aqsa Mosque as a "big lesson."

"Our battle with the occupation is still open, and [it] must be integrated and continue until the full liberation of Palestine," said Mariam Abu Daqqa, a member of the political bureau of the PFLP.

Abu Daqqa called on the Palestinian people to continue their struggle and build on their achievements.

Muslims will return to Al-Aqsa Mosque to pray for the first time in nearly two weeks later Thursday, religious leaders announced earlier on Thursday.

Palestinian Muslims have been praying in the streets outside the mosque complex’s ancient walls since July 14 in protest at Israeli security measures.

The decision to return to the mosque was announced after a meeting of the Waqf Council of Jerusalem’s top Islamic figures.

It followed a night of street celebrations by thousands of Palestinians, who claimed a victory against Israel’s imposition of metal detectors and cameras at the entrances to the holy site after the deaths of two Israeli police officers and three Palestinians in a gun battle.

An aerial view shows the Dome of the Rock (R) on the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary (Reuters File Photo)

AA