Israel bans Islamic Movement leader from praying at Al-Aqsa Mosque

Middle East Monitor  /  June 23, 2021

Israeli occupation police yesterday banned Member of the Higher Committee for Arabs of the Naqab/Negev, Sheikh Osama al-Uqbi, from praying at Al-Aqsa Mosque for one week, Arab48 reported.

During this time, Sheikh al-Uqbi will be under investigation and the ban could be extended, the news site added.

Sheikh al-Uqbi was questioned at Al-Qashlah Detention Centre in Jerusalem yesterday in the presence of his lawyer Khalid Zabarqeh. This came after he received a call summoning him last week, which he refused, saying an official letter would need to be sent to him

“During the investigation, I was told that I am banned from praying at Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Sheikh al-Uqbi said.

He added: “I told investigators that Al-Aqsa Mosque is an Islamic, Arabic and Palestinian site and your decision is arbitrary and illegal because I am a Palestinian Muslim and I have the right to enter the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque whenever I want.”

The lawyer condemned the decision to ban his client from the Muslim holy site and from performing prayers there, noting that this is a violation of international law.

He also said that this ban is illegal because the occupation does not have authority over Jerusalem, stressing that it is a “political” decision.