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November 8, 2020 10:42 am

Sheikh Banned From Temple Mount for Lauding Decapitation of Teacher in France

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A worshiper walks in front of the Dome of the Rock in the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City, March 13, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad. – Palestinian Islamic scholar Sheikh Issam Amira was summoned for questioning by police over the weekend for a recent sermon in which he praised the terrorist who beheaded history teacher Samuel Paty in a Paris suburb on Oct. 16.

The sermon in question, delivered at the al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Oct. 29, was recorded and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) on Oct. 29. It was brought to the attention of the Jerusalem District Police by Israeli watchdog group Im Tirtzu, which filed an official complaint on Friday.

In its complaint, Im Tirtzu noted that Amira’s presence on the Temple Mount was in violation of a six-month ban imposed on him by police in September—a ban issued as a result of the sheikh’s history of incitement to violence in his sermons, including praise for Islamic State, encouragement of honor killings and urging of jihad against the Jews.

According to Israeli journalist and Arab affairs expert Yoni Ben-Menachem, who shared the MEMRI clip on Twitter, the Jerusalem District Police reinstated the ban after releasing Amira at the end of his interrogation.

“We welcome the response of the police and expect that this sheikh will be prosecuted and held accountable for his radical and illegal actions,” Im Tirtzu said in a statement. “The blood of the citizens of Israel is not cheap.”

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