World Bulletin/News Desk
An Israeli army general has issued an order banning Sheikh Kamal al-Khateeb, deputy head of the Islamic Movement inside Israel, from entering Jerusalem for six months, the movement said Thursday.
In a statement, it added that the order – issued by Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, head of the Israeli army's Central Command – had gone into effect on Tuesday and was expected to remain in effect until May 25 of next year.
"An order was issued to prevent Sheikh Kamal al-Khateeb from entering Jerusalem for six months as part of [Israel's] fierce campaign against the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem in general," the movement asserted.
The movement denounced the order, noting that a travel ban had been issued on Wednesday by Israeli Interior Minister Gilad Erdan against movement head Sheikh Raed Salah.
The Islamic Movement went on to note that some group members had also been summoned by Israel's security apparatus for interrogation.
Over the past two years, the Israeli army has barred hundreds of Palestinians from entering East Jerusalem and the city's flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.
Al-Khateeb hails from northern Israel's Kafr Kanna neighborhood.
The Islamic Movement said al-Khateeb's defense of the Al-Aqsa Mosque was the reason why the Israeli authorities had barred him from entering the historic city.
"Israel is mistaken in believing that these measures will facilitate its control over Al-Aqsa," the movement asserted. "There are Palestinians, Arab and Muslims who will not abandon the mosque."
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
In September 2000, a visit to the religious site by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon triggered what later became known as the "Second Intifada," a popular uprising against Israel's decades-long occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.Last Mod: 27 Kasım 2014, 16:18