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Israel bars preacher of Jerusalem Al-Aqsa Mosque from travel

December 4, 2023 at 1:52 pm

Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Sabri, the former grand mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories walks outside an Israeli police station after being summoned for interrogation, in Jerusalem on January 2, 2023. [Saeed Qaq/NurPhoto via Getty Images]

Israeli intelligence agents raided the home of Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, the preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, and slapped him with a travel ban, according to his lawyer on Monday, Anadolu Agency reports.

“Sabri was handed an order to bar him from travel,” Khaled Zabarka told Anadolu.

He said the Al-Aqsa Mosque preacher is facing an incitement campaign by right-wing Israelis.

“His home was raided on Sunday to hand him a demolition order for the building where he lives and today he was barred from travel,” the lawyer said.

“The violations against the preacher are an attempt to silence his voice, which boldly proclaims the truth,” Zabarka said.

The 84-year-old preacher was detained multiple times by Israel and was banned from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque for several months.

Sabri is a staunch critic of the decades-long Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories. He had previously held the position of mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories from 1994 to 2006.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the “Temple Mount”, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

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

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