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Israeli court issues decision to close Bab al-Rahma prayer area

March 17, 2019 12:04 P.M. (Updated: March 18, 2019 4:37 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli court issued a decision, on Sunday, to close Bab al-Rahma (Gate of Mercy) prayer area, in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, and granted the Islamic Endowment (Waqf) Department 60 days to appeal the decision.

A member of the Waqf council, Hatem Abdel Qader, told Ma’an that the council does not recognize the Israeli court’s decision regarding Bab al-Rahma and that it is an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

In early March, dozens of Palestinians, who were banned from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, performed Friday prayers at the Lions Gate in rejection of their ban.

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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