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Israel bans al-Aqsa Mosque manager from entering site for six months

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Najih Bakirat, the manager of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound

Israeli security officials have banned the manager of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound from entering the site for six months.

Najih Bakirat has been barred from the location of the compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, which lies in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Avshalom Peled, an Israeli police deputy commander, said in a letter to Bakirat that the ban came into effect on January 31.

The manager is not permitted to "enter, stay or be found in the Temple Mount area, or its entrances, unless he is permitted by the deputy district commander," the letter read.

Peled also claimed that the "move is necessary to prevent serious harm to both people and property."

Israeli security officials alleged that Bakirat is a “radical and inciting figure” on the site.

The al-Aqsa Mosque compound, revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, is a flashpoint. In August last year, restrictions were imposed on Palestinian worshipers visiting the holy site, prompting the fury of the Palestinians.

Palestinians are also angry over Israeli settler attacks in the occupied territories and repeated desecration of the al-Aqsa compound by extremist settlers, who are usually accompanied by Israeli military forces.

At least 168 Palestinians, including women and children, have been killed by Israeli forces since October 2015.

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