Egypt expresses concerns about closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque

Vincent Carr
July 16, 2017

Israeli police prevent Muslim worshippers under the age of 40 from accessing Al-Aqsa mosque while groups of settlers would visit the site they consider holy to them.

He said "the Israeli project is to remove as many Palestinians as possible" and to replace them with Zionists from around the world, adding that the Tel Aviv regime resorts to violence, demolition of Palestinian homes and terrorism to achieve that goal.

The Israeli authorities decided on Friday to ban prayer at al-Aqsa Mosque and close its gates until further notice after announcing it, along with the Old City of Jerusalem, a closed military zone.

The Aqsa Mosque operation confirmed that the Quds "intifada (uprising) is going on and that the Palestinian people stand united behind the resistance", he said, according to the Palestinian Information Center.

Israeli policemen came under attack from three Arabs in Jerusalem yesterday, killing two before fleeing to an ultra- sensitive holy site where they were also killed.

The Israeli government said the closure of the Al-Aqsa mosque will continue until Sunday, where an assessment session will be held before it is reopened gradually.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman al-Thani, who is now visiting the Turkish capital, Ankara, stressed on Twitter his condemnation of the "unprecedented aggression" on al-Aqsa Mosque.

Hundreds of muslims have prayed on the sidewalks outside different gates of the old city, found journalists from AFP.

"The Israeli government is ready to take it in that direction because it reiterates the negative stereotype of the aggressive Palestinian, especially under global silence over its breaches of human rights and worldwide law in Jerusalem", she added.

The assailants were killed at the site known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam.

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Khalil Assali, publisher of the akhbarelbalad.net website, which specializes in East Jerusalem issues, told Arab News that the situation there has been deteriorating for some time due to settlers and right-wing activists under the watch of Israeli police.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the phone after the attack and expressed his renunciation of violence from any side.

"Perhaps the most obvious violation occurred on June 29, when the chief of the Jerusalem district police, Yoram Halevi, joined 150 activists in the mosque area", he said.

The Jerusalem Post reported that two Israeli police officers died, one the son of a former Israeli Druse Knesset member, and the other a new father.

He called on the worldwide community to act immediately to deter repeated Israeli attacks against Islamic and Christian holy sites in occupied Al Quds and to stop Israel's racist violations and crimes against the Palestinian people and their holy sites.

Jordan is a controlling force over the Waqf, the Mount's Islamic custodians.

Some witnesses said that Israeli forces entered the mosque compound with shoes on, which is highly disrespectful to the sacred space, and also proceeded to dump out garbage containers on the floor, claiming to be "searching" them.

In addition, a Palestinian 18-year-old was killed on Friday by gunfire during clashes with israeli soldiers near Bethlehem in the occupied west bank, according to the palestinian ministry of Health.

The site has been a flashpoint for violence in the past, with friction there sparking major rounds of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Other reports by BadHub

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