Mufti urges Muslims to intensify presence at Al-Aqsa Mosque
The Gaza Post | The News of Palestine – Jerusalem
Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Monday called on Muslims who can visit Jerusalem to intensify their presence in Al-Aqsa Mosque in a move to confront what he described as Israeli desecration of the Muslim holy place and assault against worshippers.
Hussein described in a statement the provocative Jewish Israeli presence in the mosque compound and assaulting and teargassing worshippers while vandalizing historical windows as “an act of aggression.”
He described the current situation as “very dangerous,” warning of the consequences of these violations “which offend the feelings of Muslims around the world.”
He stressed that Al-Aqsa Mosque belongs to Muslims only and Israel has no right to interfere in its affairs or to forcefully remove worshippers from it, a step he said aims at giving police an upper hand in running it.
The assault is a “continuation of a series of steps to turn Jerusalem and its holy mosques into Jewish sites to create a new reality on the ground,” Hussein added.
He called on local and international organizations and institutions, including UNESCO, and the Arab and Islamic nations to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinian holy places, and to intervene to put a stop to rising Israeli assaults against the Mosque, its guards and worshippers.
He called on anyone who can reach Al-Aqsa Mosque to be present inside it and to protect it.
The call by the Mufti came after Israeli police violently attacked worshippers in the Mosque on Sunday in a clear revenge act following the Friday killing nearby of an Israeli police officer by three young Palestinians, who were shot dead by police.
Thousands of Muslims attend day and night prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, considered the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, during the holy month of Ramadan, which ends the beginning of next week.
More than 300,000 Muslims have attended last Friday prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque.