Muslims Return to Praying on Temple Mount, Hamas and Fatah Laud ‘Victory’
JNS.org – The mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Hussein, announced on Thursday the end of the Muslim boycott of the Temple Mount following the Israel Police’s removal of additional security infrastructure at the holy site.
“Things have returned to what they were, so we will pray in Al-Aqsa,” Hussein told the Saudi-owned TV network Al Arabiya, referring to the mosque in the Temple Mount compound.
The mufti’s statement came after the Israel Police confirmed that all recently implemented security measures — including metal detectors, smart camera infrastructure, railings and security scaffolds, all of which had been installed in the wake of the July 14 Arab terror attack near the Temple Mount — were removed early Thursday morning. Israel initially decided to remove the metal detectors on July 24.
“The police returned the security measures to how they were before the terrorist attack at the Haram al-Sharif, before July 14,” Israel Police spokesperson Luba Samri told AFP, using the Islamic name for the Temple Mount.
Following the mufti’s announcement, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Muslim religious authorities in Jerusalem echoed the call for a return to prayer on the Temple Mount.
The Palestinian terror group Hamas called the decision to remove all extra security infrastructure at the Temple Mount a “historic victory over Israel, its army and its government.” Abbas’s Fatah faction similarly described the development as a “huge victory at Al-Aqsa.”
In response to Israel’s Temple Mount security measures, Muslims had rioted and carried out terror attacks for two weeks in Jerusalem and the West Bank, including a Palestinian terrorist’s fatal stabbing of three Israeli family members in Halamish.