Israeli-Palestinian Agreement to Close Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque gates were shut down as of Monday, following an agreement by the Israeli Police and the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf. Worshipers and visitors were restricted from entry, including foreign tourists, and Jewish settlers and extremists.
Israeli sources reported that the police banned citizens and tourists from entering Al-Aqsa as a measure to stem the spread of coronavirus.
Any breach of this ban compels the outlaw to pay a fine of 5000 shekels ($1,500).
“The Waqf council decided to temporarily suspend the arrival of worshipers through all of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates as of dawn on March 23, 2020, responding affirmatively to the recommendations of religious and medical authorities,” a statement by the Waqf said on Sunday.
In its extraordinary session, the council said that all of the Waqf’s employees would continue to work “as usual” and would perform prayers at Al-Aqsa.
The council called on worshipers to perform prayers at their homes to “preserve their health and the Jerusalemite community’s well-being.”