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Home of Al-Aqsa Mosque Imam Sheikh Sabri faces demolition as Israel attaches order to building's door

December 3, 2023 at 3:08 pm

Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Sabri at Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem on 25 February 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli forces on Sunday raided the Sawaneh neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem, claiming that a residential building where the Imam or prayer leader of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, lives is an “unauthorized construction,” Anadolu reports.

“A large force of Israeli police and intelligence raided the building, including the apartment where 85-year-old Sheikh Sabri resides in the Sawaneh neighbourhood in East Jerusalem on Sunday morning,” eyewitnesses told Anadolu.

They added, “The forces attached the demolition order to the building’s door, citing the reason as ‘unauthorized construction.’”

According to eyewitnesses, the building was constructed many years ago and houses more than 100 Palestinians in 18 residential apartments.

As of 0930GMT, neither Israeli authorities nor Sheikh Sabri had responded to the eyewitness accounts.

Sheikh Sabri, who is also the head of the Higher Islamic Authority (Awqaf), has previously been subjected to arrest and has been prohibited from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque and travelling, based on accusations including “incitement against Israel.”

Read: Al-Aqsa Mosque main pillar of Palestinian cause, source of honor for Muslims, says released inmate