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Israel bans top Waqf official from entry to Al-Aqsa for 40 days

March 3, 2019 11:39 A.M. (Updated: March 5, 2019 3:49 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities delivered an order to Waqf Council chairman, Sheikh Abd al-Athim Salhab, banning him from entry to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for 40 consecutive days, on Sunday.

According to local sources, Israeli authorities handed the 40-day ban order to Salhab after he was previously banned for an entire week following his release from Israeli custody, last week.

Along with other top Waqf officials, Salhab was detained by Israeli forces as a result of playing an important role in the reopening of the al-Rahma Gate (Mercy Gate), one of the Al-Aqsa Mosque gates, by opening the doors of the hall to allow worshipers to perform Friday prayers inside.

Several Waqf employees also received orders banning them from entry to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for periods ranging between one week and six months.

The al-Rahma Gate is a big building that lays to the east of the Al-Aqsa, the Israeli authorities sealed the building in 2003 as it was the headquarters of the Islamic Heritage Committee; Israel had said at the time that the building was being used for political activities. In 2017, an Israeli court ordered that the building be closed until a further notice.

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