Israel orders closure of disputed Temple Mount structure

Almost Heaven

Well-Known Member
A Jerusalem-district court on Sunday issued a temporary injunction ordering the immediate closure of the Bab al-Rahma building on Jerusalem's holy Temple Mount site.

Tensions have erupted recently amidst a dispute between Israel and Muslim worshipers over the status of the Bab al-Rahma ("Gate of Mercy") structure within the Al-Aqsa mosque complex, which was closed off by Israel in 2003 over alleged ties between the Islamic society operating there and the Gaza-based terrorist group Hamas.

The Jerusalem magistrates court ruled that the building should be closed while the case continues and gave the site's administrator --the Islamic Waqf organization-- 60 days to respond to the court challenge against reopening the area.

Police had requested the Muslim prayer area to be temporarily closed until the main case regarding the opening of the structure was heard by the court.

Palestinian worshippers on Saturday prayed inside the disputed structure after removing the doors and hanging a Palestinian flag from the entrance.

Last week, the Jerusalem-district court rejected the state's request to close the flashpoint Gate of Mercy, arguing in their decision that it wanted to allow Israel and Jordan to exhaust negotiation efforts.

Violent altercations have erupted on several occasions over past weeks as thousands of worshippers have forced their way in to the contested area for Friday prayers, with violence last week leading to the closure of the entire Temple Mount area.
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