World, Middle East

Israeli police shut Jerusalem's Aqsa Mosque

Israeli police arrested five people inside the site

18.02.2019
Israeli police shut Jerusalem's Aqsa Mosque

By Abdelrauf Arnaut

JERUSALEM

Israeli police on Monday reopened East Jerusalem's flashpoint Al Aqsa Mosque compound after a short closure, according to the mosque director. 

"Israeli police reopened all gates to the Al Aqsa Mosque," Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, the director of Al-Aqsa mosque, told Anadolu Agency. 

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, for his part, confirmed reopening the holy site after arresting five people. 

"In Jerusalem on the Temple Mount, 5 people arrested for attempting to enter a closed area based on a court order. Regular visits continue," he said on Twitter, using the Jewish name for the holy site. 

Earlier Monday, Israeli police closed all gates to the mosque. 

For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount", claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times. 

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community. 

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