Arabs rally near the Lions Gate outside Temple Mount in Jerusalem, July 25, 2017.
The Waqf and Israel Police were doing the two-step on Thursday afternoon in Jerusalem, with both reversing themselves on decisions over the Temple Mount, with Muslim mobs being used by the Waqf as the ultimate weapon against police.
Officials from the Jordanian Islamic Authority had suddenly discovered that the Bab Hutta gate, where two Israel Police officers were murdered by terrorists on July 14, was still closed to the public.
Several hundred people were gathered outside the gate, calling for authorities to open it. A spokesperson for Israel Police said the decision on reopening the gate “would depend on security.”
But just as the Waqf was preparing to issue instructions for a fresh round of rioting, Israeli Police opened the gate, allowing Muslim hordes to stream through, straight into the Temple Mount compound with nary a security check.
Truly Muslim faithful had already returned to the Al Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques on the Temple Mount compound for afternoon prayers on Thursday, however.
The “big return” followed Israel’s removal of all security measures outside the Temple Mount compound at the behest of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United States, a move intended to defuse the two-week-old crisis which saw violent attacks on security forces daily.
Earlier in the day the Palestinian Authority and the Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammed Ahmed Hussein said prayers could resume at the mosques. The discovery that the Bab Hutta gate was closed, however, led the Jordanian-administered Waqf (Islamic trust) which runs the site to say afternoon prayers would not be held if the gate was not opened.
Following the July 14 terrorist attack at the Temple Mount by three Israeli Arab citizens from Umm el-Fahm, police installed metal detectors and cameras at the site.
Muslims refused to pass through the security installations upon the orders of the Waqf and the Mufti, among numerous other Arab and Muslim agitators, vowing not to resume prayers at Al Aqsa mosque until every security improve was removed, and the site was returned to what it was prior to July 14.
Tazpit Press Service (TPS) contributed content to this report.