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Israel instals barriers at 3 gates leading to Al-Aqsa Mosque

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Israel Police has this week been installing barriers at three gates leading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, further obstructing Muslim worshippers’ access to the site, Anadolu news agency reported.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Islamic Endowments Department, Waqf, in the occupied city of Jerusalem said the iron barriers were installed at the gates of King Faisal, Al-Ghawanmeh and Al-Hadid, describing the move as “dangerous and unprecedented”.

Jordan and Palestine have both denounced the new Israeli restriction on access to the mosque.

A statement by the Jordanian Foreign Ministry termed the Israeli move as “dangerous” and “unacceptable.”

“Israel has no sovereignty over occupied East Jerusalem and does not have the right to impose any restrictions on the entry of worshippers into Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the ministry said, stressing that the Kingdom of Jordan is the official and internationally-recognised custodian of Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem.

It called on the international community “to shoulder its responsibility towards halting Israel’s ongoing violations of international law.”

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry also condemned Israel for installing the barriers, saying the move is an attempt to change the historic, legal and political reality of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

It considered the installation of barriers as a flagrant violation of international law and Israel’s obligations as the occupying power towards places of worship.

The ministry called for international intervention “to stop Israel’s infringement on Jerusalem and its Christian and Muslim sanctities.”

Hamas slammed the Israeli move and said it is a “vicious attempt” to prevent worshippers from reaching Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan.

On Monday, the Israeli army announced the imposition of stifling restrictions on the entry of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank into East Jerusalem to perform Friday prayers during the month of Ramadan.

Only men over the age of 55, and women over the age of 50, as well as children under the age of ten, will be allowed to enter Jerusalem during Ramadan to pray, according to the directives.

The occupation authorities have increased the restrictions they imposed on Palestinian access on Al-Aqsa since they launched their brutal bombing campaign on Gaza in October last year.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognised by the international community.

Source: Middle East Monitor

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