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Israel interrogates Al-Aqsa Mosque director amid 'Ramadan harassment' of Palestinian worshippers Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Israel interrogates Al-Aqsa Mosque director amid 'Ramadan harassment' of Palestinian worshippers

Al-Aqsa Mosque is Islam's third holiest site [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 April, 2021

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Sheikh Omar Al-Kiswani, the director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, was summoned and interrogated by Israeli intelligence.
Israel's intelligence service on Sunday interrogated the director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Islamic Endowments Authority said, amid a campaign of "harassment" of Palestinian worshippers at the Jerusalem holy site.

The authority, which is run by Jordan and oversees the holy sites in occupied East Jerusalem, gave no further details about Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani's questioning and why he was summoned by Israel.

Israeli police and intelligence services have previously arrested Al-Kiswani.

During Ramadan, Israeli forces have attacked worshippers and prevented the call to prayer on the first day of the holy month, according to media reports.

On Saturday, Israeli forces deployed tear gas and stun grenades as Palestinian worshippers left Al-Aqsa's compound through the Damascus Gate exit.

Read more: Sheikh Jarrah and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in East Jerusalem

On the first day of Ramadan, Palestinians accused Israel of breaking into four mosque minarets and cutting wires to prevent the call for prayers from being broadcast on loudspeakers.

Mustafa Abu Sway of the Waqf council said the action came after Islamic officials refused to turn off loudspeakers during a memorial for fallen Israelis at the adjacent Western Wall.

Jordan, custodian of Islamic sites in Jerusalem, condemned what it called Israel's "blatant" violation of the status quo and accused it of provocation. 

The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third most holy site in Islam. It was occupied by Israel along with the rest of Palestinian East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

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