Israeli police on Sunday allowed Palestinians to gather at a flashpoint plaza outside the Old City on the walls of Jerusalem, in a move aimed at easing tensions after several days of clashes.
The Staired Plaza outside the Damascus Gate in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem is a traditional gathering place for Palestinians during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Jerusalem, a perennial powder of religious fervor, has seen its most horrific violence in recent years, following a decision by Israel to bar Palestinians from taking steps to pray at the gates of Damascus.
Police commissioner Kobi Shabtai ordered the barricades removed as crowds gathered at the plaza on Sunday.
“After consultation with local leadership, religious leadership, assessment of the situation, it has been decided that shop owners need to make a living, and to reduce the level of violence,” a spokesman told AFP.
The spokesman added that “Our forces are still deployed on the ground, and we will not allow the violence to re-emerge.”
Hundreds of Palestinians, including male youth who throws barricades sideways Plaza to celebrate the rally, the police surveillance.
Minor quarrels erupted after some publishers started hoisting Palestinian flags, forcing police to storm the plaza.
AFP reporters claimed that they saw several young Palestinians detained by police.
The plaza, however, remained open, with a massive police presence in the area early Monday morning.
After the Coronavirus was shut down last year, people were waiting to gather at the Damascus gate during Ramadan said Samir Geith, a 66-year-old Palestinian from Jerusalem.
Referring to the initial decision to barricade the plaza he told to AFP that “I don’t think they want us to be happy.”
But they realized that they needed to stop all this tension, he added.