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Israel bans Al-Aqsa staff members from compound

Sept. 20, 2018 4:24 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 24, 2018 12:25 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli authorities issued orders, on Thursday, banning staff members of the Islamic Endowment Department (Waqf) from the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.

Spokesman for the Islamic Endowment Department (Waqf), Firas al-Dibs, said that the Israeli authorities banned the head of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound's female guards, Zeinat Abu Sbeih, from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque for the next 10 days.

Al-Dibs confirmed that Hamza al-Nabali, an Al-Aqsa Mosque guard, was detained while walking to reach the mosque and was later informed that he was banned from entering the compound for two weeks.

During the past few days, Israel have banned seven Jerusalemites from entering the Old City for the next four days, including two Islamic Endowment Department staff members, Raed Zughayyar and Haitham al-Halawani.

The Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS) said in a statement "for (Palestinian) Jerusalemites, the Jewish holiday season means an escalation in arbitrary detentions, house raids, and searches -- measures that terrify families. The installation of additional security checkpoints, particularly at Al-Aqsa Mosque's gates and in the Old City, only increase tensions in Jerusalem."

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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