Israel bans official from Al-Aqsa Mosque to prepare it for Jewish settlers

Sheikh Najeh Bakirat, the Deputy Director of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf (Twitter)

Middle East Monitor  /  September 13, 2022

The Israeli occupation authorities in occupied Jerusalem have banned a senior official from Al-Aqsa Mosque to make sure that it is empty for Jewish settlers to use during religious holidays. The claim was made on Monday by the Deputy Director General of Jerusalem Waqf (Religious Endowment), Sheikh Najeh Bakirat.

“The Israeli occupation is working to empty Al Aqsa Mosque from its religious and administrative figures,” Bakirat told Al-Resalah after he was handed a military order on Sunday banning him from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque for six months. This, he said, is the 29th such order issued by the occupation authorities since 2003. “It is one of Israel’s racist and extremist policies.”

Unsurprisingly, Sheikh Bakirat rejected the order. “We will stay at Al-Aqsa Mosque, and we will continue protecting its gates. This is not the first and I expect will not be the last. All the previous orders reinforced my strong connections with Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

At the same time, he said that such measures are being imposed for political purposes, with a General Election due in November in the occupation state.

Following the issue of the order, a large number of Israeli occupation forces raided Bakirat’s house in Sur Baher in occupied East Jerusalem, but did not find him there.