Palestine slams 'illegal' Israeli closure of Bab al-Rahma gate

Palestine slams 'illegal' Israeli closure of Bab al-Rahma gate
The Palestinian presidential office condemned Israel's court order to close Bab al-Rahma, saying it is 'illegal' and 'null'.
2 min read
18 March, 2019
Al-Aqsa Mosque is in Jerusalem [Getty]

The Palestinian presidential office on Sunday denounced Israel closure of the Bab al-Rahma gate that leads to al-Aqsa Mosque as "illegal".

The Bab al-Rahma gate, which until February was closed off by Israelis for 16 years, was threatened to be closed down.

An Israeli television report said the gate will be closed for 60 days with a period for the Muslim Waqf which administrates the al-Aqsa Mosque compound to appeal, causing a backlash amongst Palestinians and Mosque leaders.

The Palestinian presidency had also condemned Israel, noting the court order to close Bab al-Rahma has no legal standing.

"The Israeli decision is null and illegal; it is contrary to all international resolutions which stated that East Jerusalem, including al-Aqsa Mosque/the Noble Sanctuary is part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and is not subject to the authority of the Israeli judiciary," the presidency said in a statement.

The Bab al-Rahma gate was closed off to Palestinians through chains and locks since 2003 and has since been used as a way for Israeli settlers to enter the Mosque compound.

In February, Jerusalemite Palestinians began their attempts to break off the locks on the gate and participate in prayer protests to assert their right to enter al-Aqsa through Bab al-Rahma.

The city celebrated after entering the Mosque through the gate for Friday prayers towards the end of that month.

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