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Awqaf minister instructs permanent use of Bab Al Rahma

Building in Al Aqsa complex reopened Friday after 16 years of closure

By JT - Feb 25,2019 - Last updated at Feb 25,2019

Palestinian worshippers gather before Friday noon prayers at the premises of Bab Al Rahma (Gate of Mercy) in Al Aqsa Mosque complex in the Old City of Jerusalem, on Friday, after Jerusalem's grand mufti reportedly opened a gate leading to the site which was previously closed by Israeli forces (AFP photo)

AMMAN — Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Abdul Nasser Abul Bassal has instructed the Jerusalem Awqaf Department to study the best possible means of utilising the Bab Al Rahma (Gate of Mercy) building with the aim of keeping it permanently open.

The gate leading to the building in Al Aqsa Mosque complex, which has been shut by Israel for the past 16 years, was reopened on Friday and hundreds of Muslims entered to pray for the first time since 2003.

The gate has been the cause of days of tension between the Muslim religious authorities and Israeli forces, culminating in Israeli forces arresting dozens of Palestinians, including top officials and employees from the Jerusalem Awqaf Department and boosting the security presence in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Following Jordanian efforts and protests, Israeli forces released the detainees on Sunday. 

Abul Bassal asked the director general of the Jerusalem Awqaf Department to “take the appropriate decision regarding the best use of Bab Al Rahma”, which would remain open as an endowment library, headquarters for Awaqf Council meetings, headquarters for King Abdullah's endowment and a place to perform congregational prayers, according to Petra. 

The Jerusalem Awqaf Department, which is affiliated with Jordan’s Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, has the sole authority to manage the affairs of Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif.

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