Jerusalem mosque to be partially demolished, Israeli court rules

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Israeli border policemen stand guard as a Palestinian performs Friday prayer on a street in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud on 5 April 2013. (Photo: AFP – Ahmad Gharabli)

Al Akhbar English | Thursday, May 2, 2013

An Israeli court has rejected an appeal to stop the partial demolition of a mosque in Ras al-Amoud in East Jerusalem, the mosque’s imam said.

The court ruled that a section of the Muhammad al-Fatih mosque was built without a license and must be demolished, sheikh Sabri Abu Diab told Ma’an news agency.

The imam said the section under threat is used by women worshipers.

The 70-square-meter section was built in 2009 to increase the mosque’s capacity, particularly on Fridays, as thousands of people who are denied access to the al-Aqsa mosque pray in Ras al-Amoud instead, Abu Diab said.

Engineers and lawyers tried to get a license for the additional section but Israeli authorities refused, he added.

A Jerusalem court first ordered the demolition of the section in 2012, but the decision was appealed.

The latest decision cannot be appealed, but Palestinian members of Israel’s Knesset, Ibrahim Sarsour, Massoud Ghanayim and Taleb Abu Arar, have said they will try to stop the demolition.

The rest of the mosque was built in 1964 on land owned by the endowment foundation.

(Ma’an, Al-Akhbar)



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