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Israel extends ban on imam's entry to Al-Aqsa for 4 months

Some of Palestinian demonstrators meet with Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, the grand imam of Al-Aqsa Mosque, at his home in As-Suvvane neighborhood to show their support to him in Jerusalem on 3 June 2020. [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]
Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, the grand imam of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on 3 June 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Israel Police yesterday extended an order banning Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, the president of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem, from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque for four months.

Sabri said in a statement that occupation forces stormed his house and handed him an order that prevented him from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque for a period of four months. He added that this is part of Israel's illegal policy aimed at targeting the Muslim holy site and contradicts Tel Aviv's claim that it is a democratic state.

"We will stay with Al-Aqsa, and we will defend Al-Aqsa," he added.

Israel Police accuse 81-year-old Sheikh Sabri of "incitement" over his positions aimed at preserving the Islamic identity of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Responding to the ban, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Israel of violating the Muslims' right in the freedom of worship.

In a statement it said: "All the Israeli occupation authorities' measures against Jerusalem and the holy places in it are illegal, rejected, and unveil the falseness of the Israeli claims that it respects the Muslims' freedom of worship."

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