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Israel bans 7 Jerusalemites from Al-Aqsa

June 18, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Israeli forces stand guard as Muslim worshippers pray at the Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem on 30 May 2015 [Saeed Qaq/Apaimages]

Seven Jerusalemite men were yesterday banned from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque for four days, Wadi Hilweh Information Centre reported. The ban comes as a condition of their release after they were arrested over the weekend.

Occupation forces raided houses in Jerusalem on Sunday morning and arrested the seven young men, including Khalil Al-Tarhouni, an Al-Aqsa guard.

According to Wadi Hilweh Information Centre, Mohamed Sharifa, Ahmed Abul-Hawa, Ayoub Abul-Hawa, Mohamed Miswada, Imad Abu Asnaina and Mohamed Al-Shawish were also arrested.

These arrests are another measure of increased Israeli aggression in Jerusalem, with settlers storming Al-Aqsa under the protection of Israeli police and repeated bans for Palestinians.

READ: Israel arrests head of Al-Aqsa’s construction department

Late last month Israeli occupation forces raided the house of Hanadi Al-Halawani and arrested her. Al-Halawani, a teacher at Al-Aqsa Mosque schools, is an activist who had been going to the Muslim holy site to serve the iftar, break fast meal, to those who are fasting during Ramadan.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third-holiest site after Makkah and Medina. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount”, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel has illegally occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, since the 1967 war. In 1980, the Jewish state annexed the entire city, claiming it as its “eternal and undivided” capital, a move never recognised by the international community.

In December 2017, US President Donald Trump unilaterally declared Jerusalem Israel’s undivided capital and in May 2018 moved the US embassy to the Holy City.