Al-Azhar, the oldest educational institute in the Sunni Muslim tradition, has warned of the consequences of extremist Jewish groups storming Al-Aqsa Mosque which it considered a criminal act that would fuel the fire of strife and destabilise the region.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Al-Azhar said: "Al-Azhar closely follows emerging news about the planned collective storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by the extremist organization, Mnhijot Yehudit – a wing of the ruling Likud party, during the Jewish Sukkot holiday, and under the protection of the Israeli police. As such, Al-Azhar warns of the consequences of this criminal act which is fuelling the fire of sedition and threatens war in the region."
Al-Azhar stressed that the continuation of the Israeli policy establishes a dangerous precedent that drags the whole region into a situation of religious-conflict. It also warned of confrontations for which Israel would bear full responsibility. Al-Azhar's statement added that any aggression against the city of Jerusalem; home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is an especial red line that cannot be bypassed. It will, inevitably, threaten security, not only in the region, but in the entire world – Israel must realize that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the holiest of our Arab and Islamic holy places, and its sanctuary cannot be violated in any way.
Al-Azhar also warned of the escalations and aggressive plans that target Al Aqsa Mosque and provoke the sensitivities of 1.1 billion Muslims. It called on the Muslim and international community to intervene immediately to stop such violations, and work to protect Jerusalem as a human heritage site for both Muslim and Christian civilizations.
Al-Azhar emphasized that monopoly over Jerusalem and the Judaizing efforts are a violation of international agreements, laws and conventions, which criminalize any change to the nature of the territory and demography in the occupied territories.