13 July 2020

An Israeli court on Monday ordered the closure of Bab al-Rahma musallah adjoining the eastern wall of Masjid al-Aqsa, according to the authority responsible for overseeing the city’s Muslim and Christian holy sites.

In a statement, the Jordan-run Islamic Endowments Authority said it has received a letter from the Israeli Police Directorate informing it of the court’s decision to close the gate.

“Al-Aqsa is superior to be subject to any court or political decision by the Israeli authorities,” the statement said.

“Muslims do not endorse or recognize these illegal decisions by the [Israeli] occupation, and therefore do not abide by them,” it said, adding that the Bab al-Rahma is an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

“Bab al-Rahma prayer area is an integral part of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is for Muslims alone by a divine right and not subject for negotiations or concession of even one grain of its soil,” said a statement.

“Al-Aqsa Mosque is higher than to be subject to any decision by courts regardless of their status or any political decision,” they stressed.

The Waqf department, which is in charge of Al-Aqsa Mosque and other property in East Jerusalem, said that it does not go to Israeli courts because they do not have the authority and do not have the power to rule on Al-Aqsa Mosque ever since the 1967 occupation of the city.

“The occupation decisions are contrary to freedom of worship and contrary to international laws and norms,” said the Islamic organizations, holding the Israeli government responsible for any harm that will befall Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam after Makkah and Medina.

Muslim and Palestinian leaders accuse Israel to trying to change the decades-old status quo at the 144-dunum walled holy compound that contains several musallahs and monuments.

They say Israel is trying to turn Bab al-Rahma into a Jewish prayer area to eventually build a Jewish temple there as a prelude to dividing and eventually taking over all of Al-Aqsa compound and turn it into a Jewish temple.

Last week ‘evidence’ was purportedly presented to the Israeli Occupation’s Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court claiming that there is activity at Bab ar-Rahmah supposedly “linked to Hamas” and warned that keeping Bab ar-Rahmah “could establish and promote the organization’s activities in Jerusalem.”

Muslim worshippers assertively reopened Bab ar-Rahmah in 2019 after a lengthy closure enforced by the Israeli Occuaption.

Following the reopening, the Israeli Occupation High Court ordered the Waqf to close the site but the Waqf refused. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had also ordered the Occuaption police to close the site.

In the petition filed in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, Occupation police claimed that “restricting the use the site is necessary as there is solid administrative evidence that it will be used for Hamas activity and as a strong point for the terrorist organization on the ‘Temple Mount’. As per the current situation, the removal of the restriction order could allow Hamas to establish and promote their activities in Jerusalem in general and on the ‘Temple Mount’ in particular.”

Temple Mount is the name used by Zionists to refer to Masjid al-Aqsa, the second Masjid on earth, and third holiest site in Islam.