World, Middle East

OIC slams Israeli court decision on Bab al-Rahma

An Israeli court renewed closure of Bab al-Rahma mosque

Ali H. M.Abo Rezeg   | 19.03.2019
OIC slams Israeli court decision on Bab al-Rahma

ANKARA

The world’s premier Islamic bloc has decried an Israeli court decision to extend the closure of Bab al-Rahma mosque in the occupied city of East Jerusalem.

On Sunday, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court accepted a request by the Israeli attorney-general to renew the closure of the mosque, one of several mosques located in Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) described the court verdict as "groundless and illegal".

The Jeddah-based grouping said the verdict was a "violation of international law, international humanitarian law and Geneva Conventions".

"The occupied city of East Jerusalem (Al-Quds), the capital of the State of Palestine, is part of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967 and is not under the jurisdiction of the Israeli judiciary power," the OIC said, terming the Israeli actions as "null and void."

The Bab al-Rahma Mosque or Al-Rahma Gate was first closed by the Israeli authorities in 2003. In 2017, an Israeli court renewed the closure order.

In mid-February, Jerusalem's Religious Endowments Authority (a Jordan-run agency mandated with overseeing the city’s Islamic and Christian holy sites) reopened the mosque following Palestinian protests.

Tension has mounted in Jerusalem since last month, when Israeli police briefly sealed the mosque, sparking angry Palestinian demonstrations.

In the weeks since, the Israeli authorities have banned scores of Palestinians -- including religious officials -- from entering the Al-Aqsa, which for Muslims represents the world’s third holiest site.

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.

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