Israel bans 40 Palestinian women from entering al-Aqsa Mosque

Published September 4th, 2015 - 04:00 GMT
Israeli authorities blacklisted the women and said they "cause trouble and damage" at the site. (AFP/File)
Israeli authorities blacklisted the women and said they "cause trouble and damage" at the site. (AFP/File)

Israeli authorities on Thursday distributed a blacklist banning 40 Palestinian women from entering the al-Aqsa Mosque, local sources told Ma'an. 

Israeli police and courts compiled the list of womenlast month, with the women banned from entering the al-Aqsa Mosque for periods between 10 and 60 days.

Israeli Jerusalem police commander, Avi Bitton, said on Wednesday that the blacklist is made up of women who "cause trouble and damage" at the site, but that other women not on the list would be allowed entry after presenting identification.

Israeli authorities have prevented women from entering the mosque between 7 am and 11 am during the past two weeks.

Bitton said that the the recent restrictions were imposed “to prevent any tensions in the area, as they violate order, and present a threat to visitors.”
 
However, locals have said Israeli forces have allegedly set aside the four morning hours to allow Jewish worshipers access to the mosque compound through the Moroccan Gate, flouting an Israeli agreement with the Islamic Endowment that runs the compound forbidding non-Muslim worship at the holy site.

Local sources said that Israeli police have set up iron barricades and stationed forces at all of the mosque’s gates in order to impose restrictions.

Director of the al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, said that in addition to Israeli police preventing women from entering the mosque, forces also imposed restrictions on the entrance of men by confiscating male ID cards at the gates.

School students have also experienced restrictions while on their way to and from schools located in the compound.

Male students of religious schools have only been allowed entrance to the mosque compound through the Hatta Gate with a teacher as an escort, while female students also need an escort and have been only allowed entry through the Chain Gate. 

The mosque compound is the third holiest site in Islam, and is also venerated as Judaism's most holy place, as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood.

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