Jordan appointed Waqf Council chairman says Gate of Mercy compound will remain open for Muslims to pray, despite Jerusalem District Court decision to re-seal the area by next Monday.
• Muslim cleric demands Israel permit the Jordanian run Waqf to renovate the Temple Mount building, allow Waqf officials, Waqf guards and worshippers to enter the site.
By The Associated Press and Israel Hayom Staff
The Islamic authority that oversees Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem has rejected an Israeli court order to close a religious hall that has ignited tension between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli police in recent weeks.
Sheikh Abdelazeem Salhab, chairman of the Waqf Council appointed by neighboring Jordan, said Tuesday that the structure, called the Gate of Mercy shrine, would “remain open for Muslims to pray,” despite Israel’s ultimatum to close the site by next Monday.
Salhab demanded that Israel permit the waqf to renovate the building and revoke orders banning dozens of waqf officials, guards and worshippers from the sacred compound.
Israel sealed off the structure in 2003, claiming it was home to a group with ties to Islamic terrorists. The waqf has recently challenged the closure, convening and staging prayer protests in the area.
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