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Restoration work resumes at Al-Aqsa after Israeli ban

Aug. 30, 2018 4:36 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 31, 2018 10:50 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Restoration work had resumed on Thursday in restoring Qassem Basha landmark inside of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, after the Israeli authorities ordered the Islamic Endowment (Waqf )department to stop restoration.

According to Firas al-Dibs, head of the Public Relations and Media Department at the Islamic Endowment, following pressure from Jordan, the official custodian over Muslim holy places in Jerusalem and the Endowment department, Israel cancelled the ban against four Waqf staff members.

The four staff members were banned for two weeks from entering the mosque after being released from detention due to them doing repairs inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The Israeli authorities also allowed recommencement of the restoration work, which al-Dibs said was an important step to preserve Islamic heritage at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Palestinians repeatedly accused Israel of meddling in the internal affairs of the Muslim holy place with an intention to gain control over it and to turn it into a Jewish temple due to the belief that it is the site of Jewish temples which were destroyed thousands of years ago.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. The third holiest site in Islam, it is also venerated as Judaism's most holy place, as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood.

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