Hours after asserting Temple Mount closure, Waqf reported to reverse determination


The Islamic spiritual authority that administers the Temple Mount on Wednesday ordered it closed from Friday following a spike in coronavirus circumstances, solely to appear to reverse course hours later and resolve that it’s going to stay open, over an obvious controversy over whether or not Jewish visits would proceed in the course of the lockdown.

With circumstances of the virus on the rise in Israel and the Palestinian territories, the Waqf authority held an emergency assembly with well being officers, through which it determined to droop the entry of worshipers to the compound that homes the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock “ranging from Friday afternoon for a interval of three weeks.”

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“We hope that residents will perceive this process, with the intention to protect their well being and well-being,” Waqf member Hatem Abdel Qader informed AFP early within the afternoon.

The closure was to coincide with a three-week lockdown to be imposed all through Israel, which controls the entrances of the compound.

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Muslims pray on the Temple Moun compound in Jerusalem’s Previous Metropolis, August 14, 2020. (AP Photograph/Mahmoud Illean)

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However a couple of hours after the announcement, unnamed Waqf officers informed the Palestinian Authority’s WAFA information company: “After we realized that the occupation authorities meant to open the Mughrabi Gate in the course of the lockdown in order that settlers may storm the mosque, we determined to maintain the doorways of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque open.”

“Within the occasion that the occupation’s police don’t abide by this determination [to keep the compound closed], the mosque will stay open to worshipers,” the supply stated.

There was no official assertion from the Waqf.

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The Waqf is sponsored by Jordan, which is the custodian of the compound, identified by Muslims because the Haram al-Sharif, or Holy Sanctuary, and because the Temple Mount by Jews. It’s the third holiest website in Islam and the holiest in Judaism.

Wednesday’s preliminary determination was solely the second time that the Waqf had determined to shut the compound since Israel captured East Jerusalem within the Six Day Struggle of 1967 — with the primary time being in March, additionally in response to the pandemic.

Jews recurrently enter the Temple Mount, though they aren’t allowed to hope within the compound. Palestinian officers usually decry these teams as “settler invasions.”

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Israel Police couldn’t be instantly reached for remark, however discussions seemed to be ongoing.

Israel has beforehand blocked entry to the flashpoint website, which is a spotlight of Palestinian aspirations for statehood.

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A person walks previous the Dome of the Rock, within the Temple Mount compound, within the Previous Metropolis of Jerusalem on March 16, 2020. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP)

The Waqf shut the compound on the onset of the pandemic in March, when sweeping closures upended spiritual life in a approach not seen for hundreds of years.

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With coronavirus an infection charges rising, Israeli authorities have reported practically 167,000 coronavirus circumstances, with 1,147 deaths. Tuesday noticed a brand new file of 5,494 new circumstances in a single day.

Within the West Financial institution, some 214 folks have died from the virus and greater than 30,200 circumstances have been registered by Palestinian authorities.

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