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PA Calls for Popular Struggle Amid Continued Israeli Measures at Al-Aqsa | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Israeli authorities dismantling metal detectors at the al-Aqsa Compound. (AFP)

Ramallah – The Palestinian Authority held an emergency meeting on Tuesday – chaired by President Mahmoud Abbas – in which it called for escalating popular struggle and holding Friday prayers in public squares rather than mosques.

The call was made as Jerusalemites prayed on Tuesday, and for the 11th day in a row, before the gates of Al-Aqsa as they refused to enter the compound under the new security measures imposed by Israel.

Prior to the meeting, Abbas said that security coordination with Israel would be restored only when the occupation forces cancel all procedures at al-Aqsa.

“If things do not return to what they were before July 14 in Jerusalem, there will be no changes in our stance,” he stated.

For his part, deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee Sabri Saidam urged Palestinians to hold prayers in public squares on Friday. He also said that the organization was making preparations to join 28 international organizations and to approach the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Israeli forces on Tuesday dismantled metal detectors, which were placed at the entrances of the mosque, but committed to the installation of smart surveillance cameras, an alternative measure that was strongly opposed by Palestinian authorities and religious figures.

During Tuesday’s evening meeting, the Palestinian president warned that security cooperation with Israel would remain frozen until the complete removal of all measures at the mosque.

“All the new Israeli measures on the ground from that date to the present are supposed to disappear,” he stated.

“Then things will return to normal in Jerusalem and we will continue our work after that in relation to bilateral relations between us and them [Israelis]”, he added.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Waqf of Jerusalem announced it had formed a technical committee to look into new alternatives adopted by Israel to replace the controversial metal detectors.

In this regard, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Mohammed Hussein said: “We will make our decision on whether to enter the mosque or not in light of the outcome of the technical committee’s report.”

“It is a big and difficult decision, but we will wait for the committee’s report,” he added.