Imam joins Al-Aqsa Friday prayers despite Israeli ban

Former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem defies Israeli ban, joins Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa
2 min read
24 January, 2020
Former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ekram Sabri, was banned from al-Aqsa mosque for a week over a Friday sermon in which he criticised the Israeli occupation.
Sheikh Ekrima Sabri was barred from Al-Aqsa mosque by Israel [Anadolu/Getty]
Former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, joined the Friday prayer at al-Aqsa mosque, defying an Israeli order banning him from entering the holy compound.

Sheikh Sabri, who is currently the head of Jerusalem's Supreme Islamic Authority, was filmed entering the compound surrounded by supporters.

Israeli security summoned the former Grand Mufti to Jerusalem's police station on Sunday. He was then banned from entering al-Aqsa mosque compound for one week. 

Israel summoned and interrogated the Sheikh over claims of "inciting violence during the Friday sermon", Palestinian media reported.

"The Israeli police handed me a one-week deportation order and asked me to be present at the police station for investigation next Saturday," Sheikh Sabri told reporters on Sunday.

The Imam's sermon, given the previous Friday, criticised the occupation. 

Al-Aqsa mosque is the third holiest place in Islam and a key Palestinian national symbol.

The Temple Mount is also the holiest spot in Judaism, believed to be the site of two biblical-era Jewish temples. 

Muslim worshippers' access to al-Aqsa and the adjoining Dome of the Rock is controlled by Israeli security forces.

It is located in occupied East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

Agencies contibuted to this report.

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