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Israel prepares to demolish former PA mufti’s Jerusalem home

Sheikh Ekrima Sabri has close ties with the Turkish government and regularly preaches in the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan receives Sheikh Ekrima Sabri and his wife, preacher Naela Sabri, in Istanbul, 2017. Credit: palinfo.com.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan receives Sheikh Ekrima Sabri and his wife, preacher Naela Sabri, in Istanbul, 2017. Credit: palinfo.com.

Israeli authorities have announced their intention to destroy the eastern Jerusalem residence of former Palestinian Authority Mufti Ekrima Sabri, after a court ruled it was built without proper permits.

The police were preparing to tear down the home of the radical Muslim cleric, located near the Beit Orot neighborhood on the Mount of Olives, The HaKol HaYehudi digital newspapers reported.

According to a notice posted on the structure, a picture of which was shared to social media by Jerusalem Councilwoman Laura Wharton of the far-left Meretz Party, residents were ordered to “evacuate the building in order to reduce the damage.”

In September, an Israeli NGO petitioned the Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, to order the immediate prosecution of Sabri for incitement to terrorism.

The Lavi Organization, a nonprofit that works to bring about a Zionist worldview in Israel’s government, said it petitioned the court after being stonewalled for months by Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s office.

Following the filing of the petition, Supreme Court Justice Yosef Elron ordered the government to submit a preliminary response by mid-October, HaKol HaYehudi reported.

“The time has come to bring to justice the head of the snake, the inciter Ekrima Sabri,” the Lavi Organization stated on Sunday in response to the news of the impending demolition.

“We expect that, after countless postponements, the State of Israel will respond to the court regarding our petition on his criminal prosecution,” the organization added.

Sabri, who heads the Jerusalem Supreme Muslim Council and previously served as the P.A.-appointed mufti in Israel’s capital, has close ties with the Turkish government and regularly preaches in the Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount.

In October of last year, while visiting the family of Palestinian terrorist Udai Tamimi, Sabri called on Palestinian youth to join the “family of martyrs,” which he described as “sublime and divine and to be aspired to.”

Tamimi shot and killed Sgt. Noa Lazar and was later killed when he opened fire on security guards in Ma’ale Adumim.

In May 2022, Religious Zionism Party head Bezalel Smotrich, who is now finance minister, called for a criminal investigation of Sabri over his participation in a virtual conference hosted by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The meeting was also attended by the leaders of various terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah, Hamas’s Ismail Haniyeh, Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Ziyad al-Nakhala and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s Talal Naji.

During the conference, participants emphasized their loyalty to the Iranian worldview and commitment to the “liberation of Jerusalem from the hands of the Zionists.”

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