Jordanian king waives rent of Waqf properties  in Jerusalem

King Abdullah's decision has been praised. (File/AP)
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Updated 26 March 2020

Jordanian king waives rent of Waqf properties  in Jerusalem

  • Islamic Waqf: This is the time for property owners to follow the leadership of the king and waive rental to their tenants

AMMAN: The Islamic Waqf department in Jerusalem issued a statement thanking King Abdullah of Jordan for the Jordanian Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs’ decision to waive rent payments for 2020 on all endowed (waqf) properties in Jerusalem rented by individuals of any religion.

More than 350,000 Palestinians live in East Jerusalem, many of them in rented homes. Religious endowments have historically been a method of safeguarding properties in the city from confiscation by various occupiers over the course of many wars. The majority of properties in the Old City, in particular, are endowed, with most belonging to religious establishments or to families who have endowed them.

HIGHLIGHT

• More than 350,000 Palestinians live in East Jerusalem, many of them in rented homes.

Wasfi Kailani, director of the Royal Hashemite Fund for the Restoration of Al-Aqsa, said the decision was good news for thousands of Jerusalemites. “Since most of the Old City is (endowed) real estate, at least 1,300 Jerusalem households, shops, private schools, churches, hotels, offices, companies, health centers, hospitals, youth associations, and other institutions will benefit from the decision,” Kailani told Arab News.

The statement by the Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem noted that the decision will provide people, businesses and institutions with some security in the difficult times that the world is experiencing due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Khalil Assali, a member of the Jerusalem Waqf, called on other property owners to waive rent too. “This is the time for property owners to follow the leadership of the king and waive rental to their tenants,” he said.

Arab News has learned that a number of landowners, religious institutions and family endowment directors are considering making a similar decision.


Turkey detains 11 over coronavirus house party

Updated 30 March 2020

Turkey detains 11 over coronavirus house party

  • The party was shared live on social media but received criticism for ignoring social distancing pleas
  • Elif K., who broadcast the party live on social media, said around 80 people attended the party

ISTANBUL: Turkish police have detained 11 people, including the organizers and a DJ, after a weekend coronavirus house party in Istanbul where some guests dressed up as doctors, local officials said.
The party, thrown at a villa in the Buyukcekmece district Saturday night, was shared live on social media but received criticism for ignoring social distancing pleas.
“These idiots have organized a home party somewhere in Istanbul” one Twitter user posted.
“How come we will stop the spread of the virus despite those idiots!!!”
Bars and nightclubs have been closed in Turkey by a circular issued by the interior ministry as part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
Police watched the social media broadcast then detained 11 people including the organizer, M.S. and M.E.C. and a DJ.
They were charged with “disobeying the regulations on infectious diseases,” the Istanbul governor’s office said in a statement late Sunday.
The authorities were working to identify other participants, it added.
In the video footage posted, some of those partying could be seen dressed up as emergency doctors with gloves and masks.
“I drank a lot of alcohol. Everyone was dancing with the music. I regret holding such a party at a time of coronavirus,” M.S. told the police in his testimony, the private news agency DHA reported.
Elif K., who broadcast the party live on social media, said around 80 people attended the party. “They were drinking and dancing. I later called a taxi and left.”
The DHA said police released seven people after questioning them, but the other four were sent to court.
Turkey has so far officially recorded 9,217 cases of the new coronavirus while 131 people have died.
Authorities have taken a series of measures to try to slow the spread of the virus, from suspending international flights to shutting schools.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Turks to stay at home and adapt themselves to “voluntary quarantine” conditions.