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Israel seals off Al-Aqsa gate, Palestinians call for protests

Feb. 18, 2019 12:46 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 18, 2019 3:49 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- A group of Palestinian activists from Jerusalem City called upon people, on Monday, to gather and protest at the al-Rahma Gate (Gate of Mercy) one of the Al-Aqsa Mosque gates after Israeli police forces had sealed off the gate with locks and iron chains a day earlier.

Activists used social media platforms to call for protests that take place Monday noon.

Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, head of the Islamic Endowment Department and Al-Aqsa Affairs, told Ma’an that calls were made between the Jordanian government and the Israeli authorities to demand removing the lock and chains.

Head of the department’s public relation and media office, Firas al-Dibs, said that Israeli police officers had installed the locks and chains at the gate in response to members of the department performing prayers at the gate last Thursday.

The al-Rahma Gate is a big building that lays to the east of the Al-Aqsa, the Israeli authorities sealed the building in 2003 as it was the headquarters of the Islamic Heritage Committee; Israel had said at the time that the building was being used for political activities. In 2017, an Israeli court ordered that the building be closed until a further notice.

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