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Israel indicts Palestinian women for preventing settlers from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israeli policemen stand guard as they try to prevent Palestinians from entering the Al-Aqsa mosque compound [Saeed Qaq/Apaimages]
Israeli policemen stand guard as they try to prevent Palestinians from entering the Al-Aqsa mosque compound [Saeed Qaq/Apaimages]

The Israeli Magistrate's Court has indicted two Palestinian women, Sahar Al-Natsheh and Abeer Fawaz, on charges of preventing settlers from entering a "sacred place". The women are both from Jerusalem.

The incident in question happened in 2014 when the two women stood up to groups of Jewish settlers who stormed into Al-Aqsa Mosque and included Knesset member Shulamit Muallem of the extreme-right Jewish Home party.

Read: Israel's Knesset speaker, settlers storm Al-Aqsa

According to Qudsuna for Human Rights Foundation, the court regards Al-Aqsa Mosque as a holy place for Jews. In a press release, the foundation pointed out that the court had used Jewish religious terminology to bestow a Jewish character on the mosque. It warned against the use of such vocabulary and tools to Judaise the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa without any legal basis.

Qudsuna stressed that the court's decision is clear violation of the fundamental rights of Muslims and Arabs, as well as a violation of the religious, cultural and legal rights of the Palestinians. It said that it views the indictment as "void" because it serves the religious and political agendas of extremists within Israeli society.

Sahar Al-Natsheh and Abeer Fawaz, the foundation insisted, have legitimate and natural rights to freedom of worship and a presence in Al-Aqsa Mosque.

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