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Palestinian Al-Aqsa employee banned from holy site for 4 months

July 17, 2017 8:10 P.M. (Updated: July 18, 2017 11:20 A.M.)
Jad al-Ghoul
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli authorities reportedly informed an employee of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday that he was banned from accessing the holy site in occupied East Jerusalem for four months.

Jad al-Ghoul, a Jerusalemite resident who works at the Al-Aqsa firefighting and rescue department, was detained on Saturday for several hours at the Mazmoriya checkpoint south of Jerusalem for several hours.

Al-Ghoul was released after being handed a summons to head to the office of Israeli intelligence forces, where he was officially informed of the ban -- on the grounds that his presence at the Al-Aqsa compound would pose a “threat to public security.”

The Palestinian had recently been banned from entering Jerusalem for four days during the Maccabiah Games -- often referred to as the “Jewish Olympics” -- claiming that he would "incite against the event."

Al-Ghoul’s ban comes as Israel has increased restrictions around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the wake of a deadly shooting attack on Friday, in which three assailants and two police officers -- all Palestinian citizens of Israel -- were killed.

The Al-Aqsa compound was closed off for two days following the shooting, only to be reopened on Sunday with metal detectors, a move which has been denounced by Palestinian worshipers and officials alike.
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