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In video - Israel detains 2 Palestinians after opening al-Rahma Gate

April 2, 2019 10:33 A.M. (Updated: April 4, 2019 11:28 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli police detained two Palestinians, on Tuesday, morning after they opened the al-Rahma Gate (Gate of Mercy) inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem.

Head of the public relations office at the Islamic Endowment Department, Firas al-Dibs, said that the Israeli police raided the area, held the ID cards of two Palestinian youths, identified as Bashar Najib and Tawfiq Najib, as they were opening the al-Rahma Gate.

The two were then detained and transferred to an interrogation center.

Al-Dibs pointed out that the Israeli police attempts to prevent Al-Aqsa guards, employees of the Islamic Endowment Department and even worshipers from opening al-Rahma prayer area.

He added that more than 45 employees of the Islamic Endowment were detained during the past month for attempting to open the gate; most of whom were released on the condition of being banned from Al-Aqsa.

A Palestinian youth identified as Mahmoud Najib was briefly detained, on Monday, and released on the condition of being banned from entering Al-Aqsa for two days, while another one identified as Wissam Hashim, was banned from Al-Aqsa for two weeks also for attempting to open al-Rahma Gate.

Al-Rahma Gate was initially closed off by the Israeli authorities in 2003, however, Palestinian worshipers were able to reopen the Gate in February following protests against the closure of the gate. Israeli forces had assaulted worshipers performing prayers at the gate in protest of the seal off, before continuing to seal it off.
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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