The police in Jerusalem removed the gates at the Damascus Gate, which were placed there at the beginning of Ramadan. For the first time in two weeks, Palestinian residents can gather around a place that is an important meeting place for them during Ramadan in the evening.
Israeli television showed images of elated Palestinian young people celebrating the decision as a victory. They saw the closure as an attempt by Israel to strengthen its grip on East Jerusalem. They said they forced the Israeli police to remove the fences.
The chief of police in Jerusalem says that the fences were placed there to keep access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque free for the tens of thousands of Muslims who wish to pray there.
The decision to remove the fences is an attempt to de-escalate the situation, says correspondent Ankie Rechess. According to her, this is also evident from the fact that Israel left missile attacks from Gaza unanswered today. A solution is also sought through diplomatic channels. Jordan and Egypt act as mediators because Israel and the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip do not want to talk directly to each other.
The closure of the area led to riots, involving the Palestinians and the police as well as the extreme right Jews. It was very violent night after night. Even today, riots took place again.
The turmoil has also spread over the past week to the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. At Ramallah in the West Bank, Palestinians threw stones and Molotov cocktails to the police yesterday.
Friday it also became restless around the Gaza Strip. More than 40 missiles and mortar grenades were fired from this Palestinian territory at Israel, which were answered by Israel with air strikes on targets of the Hamas movement.