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Bahraini group hid identities for Temple Mount visit over fears they’d be barred

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29.11.2020

A member of the Bahraini royal family said Sunday that his delegation visited Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on Friday without revealing their country of origin to the Islamic religious authority that administers the flashpoint holy site.

“If we had told them where we were from, they would have prevented us from going up [to the site],” Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa told Army Radio.

Al Khalifa did not elaborate but was presumably referring to organizing a formal delegation to the site, known to Muslims as the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in coordination with the administrative Waqf authorities.

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The visit to Israel by a group from the King Hamad Global Center for Peaceful Coexistence came in the wake of Israel and Bahrain establishing diplomatic ties in September.

They were led by Al Khalifa, who in addition to being president of the center’s board of directors is also a member of the Bahraini royal family.

“Al-Aqsa doesn’t belong just to the Palestinians, it belongs to the whole Muslim world. It can’t be that you tell people who normalized [relations] with Israel that they can’t pray in Jerusalem,” Al Khalifa said.

The Waqf, a Jordanian-appointed council, oversees Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. It claims exclusive authority over the Temple Mount compound — the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest for Muslims — and says it is not subject to Israeli jurisdiction.

Palestinians have repeatedly expressed outrage over the........

© The Times of Israel


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