The Jordanian Minister of Religious Endowments has affirmed that Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem is "part of the Islamic faith" and accused Israeli soldiers and settlers of "defiling" the sacred mosque with their incursions. Abdus-Salam Al-Abadi was reacting to Israeli claims that the courtyard of the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa is "public space" and can be turned into "public parks". Al-Abadi said that such moves would be "clear aggression against the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque which, apart from provoking Muslim anger, are serious breaches of international conventions."
The whole Noble Sanctuary is "Al-Aqsa Mosque", stressed Mr. Al-Abadi. "This includes all of the land, mosques, benches, domes open spaces and other facilities across the sanctuary's 37 acres," he insisted. "This is the correct Shari'ah definition of Al-Aqsa Mosque which is mentioned in the Holy Qur'an."
Earlier this week, Kamal Al-Khatib, the vice chairman of the Islamic Movement inside Israel, revealed that the Israeli-led municipality of Jerusalem had announced that the open spaces of Al-Aqsa Mosque are "public parks" in an attempt to detach them from the mosque and facilitate their use by Israeli settlers.