Dar Al-Ifta condemned, on Tuesday, clashes that flared up at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, after Israeli security forces stormed the third holiest site in Islam for the third consecutive day.
Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawqy Allam denounced the international community’s “silence” on the attacks and the banning of worshipers from the mosque. He added that “Israeli terrorism” has no limits, after Israel, amidst a “blind” international community”, disrespected all international agreements and laws.
Allam added that “attacks by Israeli fanatics” provoke the “feelings of all Arabs despite their religion”, which fuels tensions in the area. The Grand Mufti also called for the unity of Palestinian factions in defending “holy sites against Israeli terrorism”.
Palestinians and Israeli forces have clashed at the mosque for a third consecutive day. The Israeli authorities said rioters had barricaded themselves inside the compound, and were attempting to disrupt Jewish worshippers visiting the site, which is also revered in Judaism, ahead of Sunday evening’s New Year celebrations. News reports said that masked men continue to throw rocks at the police forces.
Also on Tuesday, the Saudi Foreign Ministry accused the “Zionist enemy” of trying to “control the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem”, following clashes between Israeli police officers and Palestinian individuals. The police officers also attempted to storm the mosque.
Muslims in the compound accused police of damaging the area, barricading the entrances and forcing worshippers to pray outside. Local Muslims have told the press that they fear Israel is attempting to change the rules governing the site, and are looking to establish a new Jewish temple.
Israel seized east Jerusalem, the area where Al-Aqsa is located, in the Six Day War of 1967, and later annexed the territory, a move that has not been internationally recognised.
In a related development, Turkey’s Anadoul Agency reported that senior Hamas leader Moussa Al-Zarkawi arrived to Cairo for talks with Egyptian officials, discussing relations between the two sides.