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Israel raids Bab Al-Rahma prayer hall at Al-Aqsa Mosque

September 8, 2023 at 4:37 pm

Israeli officers are seen inside a masjid with their shoes on as Israeli settlers raid to measure inside al-Rahma gate in Jerusalem on March 10, 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]

Israeli occupation forces broke into the Bab Al-Rahma prayer area of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem last night, causing extensive damage, Wafa news agency reported.

According to witnesses, Israeli forces raided the prayer hall, conducted searches on Palestinian worshippers and vandalised parts of the room including light fixtures and electrical systems. They also confiscated some items.

Bab Al-Rahma is part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound. It has been subject to repeated Israeli attacks since the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The Islamic-Christian Committee in Support of Jerusalem and its Sanctuaries warned earlier this year that the Israeli occupation is planning to turn the Bab Al-Rahma Prayer Hall into a Jewish synagogue.

In a statement, the committee warned of a pre-planned Israeli manoeuvre to Judaise Al-Aqsa Mosque, pointing out that “separating Bab Al-Rahma Mosque from the whole area of Al-Aqsa Mosque and turning it into a Jewish synagogue is part of the plan.”

The committee called on all Palestinians to “face off the Israeli attempt to close Bab Al-Rahma Mosque, repair it and resume prayers inside it.”

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews call the area the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two ancient Jewish temples.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, a move never recognised by the international community.