Jerusalem mufti says UAE visitors 'not welcome'

If they come due to normalising ties with Israel

22 October, 17:30

    (ANSAmed) - TEL AVIV, OTOBER 22 - Visits to the al-Aqsa mosque complex in Jerusalem by UAE and Bahraini citizens who have arrived in Israel as part of agreements that exclude Palestinian leaders ''are not welcome'', Jerusalem mufti and sheikh Muhammed Hussein said Thursday, according to news agency WAFA.

    He added that they would be considered on a par with ''the soldiers of the occupying power and settlers'' and stressed that only pilgrims ''not putting into question Arab and Islamic legitimacy'' will be welcomed at the al-Aqsa mosque and not those who come ''through normalisation with the occupying authorities''.

    With the signing of agreements between Israel and the UAE for direct flights between the two countries, which includes a visa exemption for entering the country, numerous tourists from the Gulf are planning to visit the al-Aqsa mosque complex.

    Jerusalem's deputy mayor Fleur Hassan Nahum has recently returned from Dubai and asked the government to increase security measures in that area. (ANSA).

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