Palestinian President Abbas says afternoon prayers will go ahead at the al-Aqsa Mosque as Israel lifts security measures. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. Palestinians in Jerusalem celebrated after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said midday prayers will be held at the heart of the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday (July 27) after Israel backed down in the face of 10 days of often-violent protests and removed all security measures it had installed at the site. Israel put up metal detectors, cameras and steel barriers at Muslim entrances to the compound, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, after the July 14 killing of two Israeli policemen by Arab gunmen who had concealed weapons there. The extra security provoked days of unrest, with violent clashes on the streets of East Jerusalem. Israeli forces shot and killed four Palestinians in the fighting, and a Palestinian man stabbed and killed three Israelis in their home. Most Muslims have refused to enter the compound for the past two weeks, instead praying in the streets around the Old City, until the Muslim elders declared themselves satisfied with Israeli authorities reverting security to how it was before July 14.