World Bulletin / News Desk
Be'er Sheva Mosque in Be'er Sheva, southern city of Israel was announced to host first Friday prayer in 64 years.
A wine festival at the courtyard of the mosque was planned to be held for September 5-6, but withdrawn by the Municipality of the city because of the widespread protests and condemnations.
Yusuf Abu Cami, representative for the Islamic Committee of Naqab, told AA correspondent on Friday that they have decided to perform the Friday prayer in Be'er Sheva Mosque on October 5 which they call the "Salvation Friday".
He said that this step is a part of the initiative they gave start a couple of weeks ago for re-opening for prayers of the mosque which has been a museum for some time now.
Upon a question on whether they got permission from Israeli authorities, Cami said that they did not believe in getting permission for prayers.
He added that he wish Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement, would deliver the khutba on that day.
Built in 1906, an impressive Ottoman-era structure with a towering minaret, white dome and intricate metal detailing on its many windows, Be'er Sheva Mosque has a Turkish flag in it as well as a photo exhibition on the history of the city starting from the Ottoman and British rule.
It had been open for prayer until 1948 or Israeli occupation when it was turned into a prison and later a courthouse until 1952. It was turned into an Islamic museum on the orders of an Israeli high court in 2011.
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The mosque was first opened in 1901 but was seized and closed in the 1920's and then used first as a cinema and then as a restaurant that served alcohol. In 2002 restorations began to open the mosque for service