Middle East

Israeli police to question Al-Aqsa Mosque preacher

Police summon Sheikh Ekrima Sabri for questioning by Israel’s internal security service, Shin Bet

Zain Khalil   | 10.10.2021
Israeli police to question Al-Aqsa Mosque preacher

JERUSALEM

Israeli police raided the house of Al-Aqsa Mosque preacher, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday and summoned him for questioning, according to a Palestinian NGO.

In a statement, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said police handed Sabri an order to show up for questioning at al-Masqubiyya detention center in West Jerusalem.

The NGO said the preacher will be questioned by Israel’s internal security service, Shin Bet.

No information was yet available about the cause of the summoning.

There was no comment from Israeli police on the report.

Speaking to local media, Sabri said he might be questioned about last week’s Israeli court decision allowing silent prayers for Jews inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

"This [Israeli decision] is rejected by us all because Al-Aqsa Mosque is exclusively for Muslims," he said.

Last week, an Israeli judge issued an unprecedented decision allowing Jews to perform “silent prayers” inside the complex, saying the ritual was not a “criminal act”. The decision has provoked an international outcry, prompting the Israeli Central Court in East Jerusalem to annul the decision, according to Israeli media.

Israeli authorities have arrested the 82-year old preacher multiple times in the past and even banned him from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque for several months.

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, in which the Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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