. With the protection of the Reserve Security Departments and the operation carried out with minimum conditions, the Israeli police opened the gate on one side of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem early in the morning and allowed the Jews to enter. The outrageous response from Ramallah was immediate: “This has brutally provoked the feelings of Muslims,” the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said.
The tension was in the air. Earlier this month, Esplanade – a holy mountain for Muslims and Jews alike, was the site of violent clashes between Muslim faithful, Ramadan practitioners and Israeli police. On May 10, the situation worsened, with Hamas launching its first rockets into Jerusalem to “defend al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Following the ceasefire, Hamas told Egyptian mediators that the situation in Jerusalem before May 10 could not continue and that Jewish groups should be prevented from entering the Esplanade.
However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. Israel – he reiterated – has not accepted any control over Jerusalem.
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