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Israeli police shut Dome of the Rock, preventing Palestinians from praying

Shutdown follows Israeli officer's attempt to enter the shrine wearing his Jewish kippah, Jordanian official tells MEE
The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (AFP)

Israeli police forced Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock shrine shut for almost five hours on Monday, preventing Muslims from praying inside it, a Jordanian official told Middle East Eye.

Abdallah Abbadi, the manager of the adjacent Al-Aqsa Mosque, told MEE that an Israeli police officer tried to enter the Dome of the Rock wearing his kippah or yarmulke, a brimless cap worn by Jews.

“The guards of the Dome of the Rock stopped him from entering, because the mosque belongs to Muslims, not to Jews, and then the Israeli military police shut down the Dome and prevented people from entering,” Abbadi, who works for the Jordanian Waqf that manages the site, said.

Fourteen of the al-Aqsa compound's guards, who also work for the Waqf, were locked inside the shrine, Al-Araby al-Jadeed newspaper reported.

According to the Al-Quds news site, three other guards, Luay Abu al-Saad, Fady Elyan and Yahya Shehadeh, were arrested, along with Fatah movement member Awad Es-Slaimeh.

The Dome of the Rock is an important shrine inside the Al-Aqsa compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, and it was built in the 691 at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik.

Footage from inside the compound showed Palestinians gathering at the entrance of the shrine where Israeli police maintained a heavy presence. They eventually were permitted to enter after almost five hours of waiting outside in the cloudy weather.

Translation: The occupation forces attacked Shiekh Omar al-Kiswani in the Al-Aqsa compound.

Footage from inside the compound showed Palestinians gathering at the entrance of the shrine where Israeli police maintained a heavy presence. They eventually were permitted to enter after almost five hours of waiting outside in the cloudy weather.

People were still permitted to open the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Abbadi said, but they had to give their ID cards to the Israeli police at the entrance and take them back when they leave.