Saudi Arabia claimed King Salman as al-Aqsa saviour. Not everyone agreed
For a king currently sunning himself on a north African beach, it was no mean feat: Saudi Arabia on Thursday said intense international diplomacy by its ruler, Salman, had been central to ending the standoff at the Noble Sanctuary in Jerusalem.
In a statement, the Saudi royal court said Salman held "necessary contacts with world leaders on al-Aqsa", which it proclaimed had "culminated in success" - hours after Israeli police relented to people power on the streets of Jerusalem's Old City and removed security checkpoints around the site.
The court said Salman's government contacted the US administration and "stressed the need for the return of calm at al-Aqsa mosque and its surroundings, the respect for the sanctity of the place".
The statement received gushing praise from one of Riyadh's closest allies, Abu Dhabi, where Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed praised the Saudi "role" in resolving the crisis.
The claim also gave birth to the hashtag #Al-Aqsa_in_the_heart_of_Salman, with many praising the king.
Translation: when the time for action comes… Be sure that Salman will be there.
Palestinians, and many social media users, however saw things a little differently.
Translation: Al-Aqsa succeeded due to noble protesters only. Not Salman, or anyone else. The lesson is over, and you are all traitors.
King Salman has been on holiday since Monday, with his son Mohammed Bin Salman taking charge of state affairs for the majority of the Aqsa tensions.
A Palestinian activist from Jerusalem's Old City, Ali Jiddah, spoke to Middle East Eye. "We Palestinians have proved, not only to Israel, but to the whole world, that we Palestinians have promising potential that can never be broken," Jiddah said.
"They have to understand that they are dealing with a nation that has legitimate rights, that we got fed up of the occupation, of the daily humiliation, that we can't stand any more living under the occupation," he added.
Stay informed with MEE's newsletters
Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked
Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.