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Palestinians celebrate after al-Aqsa gate open in defiance of Israeli measures Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Palestinians celebrate after al-Aqsa gate open in defiance of Israeli measures

Al-Aqsa is Islam's third holiest site [Getty]

Date of publication: 22 February, 2019

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After being closed for 16 years, Palestinians have finally managed to enter al-Aqsa Mosque through the Bab al-Rahma gate.

Palestinians celebrated after they entered al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday prayers through a gate which was closed off by Israel for more than 15 years.

The Bab al-Rahma gate has been closed off to Palestinians through chains and locks since 2003 and has been since then used as a way for Israeli setters to enter the Mosque compound.

Earlier this week, Jerusalemite Palestinians began their attempts to break off the locks on the gate and participating in prayer protests to assert their right to enter al-Aqsa through Bab al-Rahma.

The Israeli army on Friday succumb to pressure and removed their soldiers, according to Palestinian official: “The Israeli occupation removed its soldiers because of the

pressure of the Palestinian crowd who opened the gate by force", Fares al-Dabbas, spokesperson for the Jerusalem Islamic Endowment, known as al-Waqf in Arabic, toldThe New Arab.

Overnight on Thursday, the Israeli military detained over 40 Palestinians during raids across occupied East Jerusalem in anticipation of the Palestinian victory.

Bab al-Rahma has been closed off to Palestinians by Israel for the past 15 years. When it was first closed, Israel justified it on the grounds of the presence of alleged political activities and refused to reopen the gate ever since.

The closure of the gate was perceived by Palestinian Muslims as a wider plot to perpetuate the division of the mosque compound and to allocate the eastern section of the compound to Israeli settlers.

 

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