JERUSALEM, Tuesday, February 26, 2019 (WAFA) – The gate to Bab al-Rahma prayer area inside Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City was reopen today after Israeli attempts to re-close it.
About 50 employees of the Waqf department in charge of Al-Aqsa compound and Muslim property in Jerusalem reopened the gate to Bab al-Rahma area in a show of defiance to Israeli attempts to re-seal it shut and ban Muslim worship in that area.
Palestinians reopened the prayer area two weeks ago after it was closed at Israeli police orders for 16 years under the claim of a court order, which turned out to be false.
Muslim prayers resumed at the site adjacent to the Old City’s historic wall from inside Al-Aqsa compound, where the shut Golden Gate is located, as police and lately Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have led a campaign to re-shut it for Muslim worship.
The Islamic Waqf department and Palestinian institutions have insisted on keeping the Bab al-Rahma prayer area open for Muslim worship after it became clear to them that Israel wants to keep it off s for Muslims in order to give Jewish fanatics, who call for rebuilding their temple inside Al-Aqsa compound, free access and presence in the area.
Palestinians have warned of outbreak of violence if Israel insists on changing the status quo at Al-Aqsa compound, the third holiest site in Islam and which is the ground for only Muslim worship.
The first European Union-Arab League summit held in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday and Monday has reiterated in its final communique the importance of preserving the pre-1967 status quo in occupied Jerusalem and at Al-Aqsa compound.
In an effort to put an end to Palestinian defiance of the Israeli orders against Bab al-Rahma, Israeli police detained in recent days over 100 Palestinian activists and religious figures in Jerusalem and later ordered them off Al-Aqsa compound for days and weeks. The detention included the head of the Higher Islamic Council, Sheikh Abdul Azim Salhab,
The Palestinian caretaker government, in its weekly meeting in Ramallah today, has condemned the Israeli measures in Jerusalem and at Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as the detention of leading religious and political figures in the occupied city.