Palestinians celebrate as barriers removed from Jerusalem holy site

The removal of Israeli security installations from the entrance to a contested holy site in Jerusalem brought celebrations from hundreds of Palestinians outside the Old City’s Lions Gate.

Hotly disputed metal detectors had already been taken away; now, as railings and scaffolding – where security cameras had previously been mounted – were carried off on lorries, they chanted and clapped in joy.

It follows a tense standoff between Israel and Palestinians who have been demanding the removal of all security measures – introduced after two policemen were shot dead at the site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Palestinians as the al-Aqsa mosque.

Muslim leaders said they would decide later on whether worshippers could return to the shrine for prayers.

Earlier the rival Palestinian factions of Fatah and Hamas called for more mass protests on Friday.

Amid fears of more unrest after deadly clashes last weekend, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged all leaders to “refrain from provocative action and rhetoric”, calling on Israel “to demonstrate restraint”.
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