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Wakf official banned from Temple Mount

reprinted from The Jerusalem Post
Apr. 28, 2008

by Etgar Lefkovits

A senior Islamic official has been barred from entering the Temple Mount compound for the next six months after allegedly inciting violence against Jews, police said Monday.

Nasser Hakim Abu-Kueder, 38, who served as an assistant to the chief Islamic Wakf guard at the contested holy site, was ordered by police to stay out of the Temple Mount following a series of incidents there during the last several months, in which he allegedly incited violence against both police and Jewish visitors to the site, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said.

Abu-Kueder has ties with both Hamas and the Islamic Movement in Israel, the police said.

According to decades-old regulations at the Temple Mount, Israel maintains overall security control at the site, while the Wakf, or Islamic Trust, is charged with day-to-day administration of the compound.

The head of the IDF Home Front Command banned the official after he ignored a previous police warning to desist from activities that threatened the peace at the site, police said. The signed military order was presented to him a few days ago.

Palestinian Authority Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Adnan Husseini on Monday condemned the police move.

"When anyone acts according to their responsibility, they say he is acting against the law," Husseini said, adding that the police action was the latest indication that "difficult times" were ahead.

The decision came just months after Jerusalem police chief Aharon Franco pledged to maintain the status quo at the site and ensure that the area remained under Israeli sovereignty.

In the past, police have occasionally banned both radical Islamic officials as well as Jewish extremists from the site.



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