The Director of Islamic Endowments in Jerusalem, Sheikh Azzam Al Khatib, has demanded that the Islamic solidarity summit, which begins today in Makkah, should have a special look at the situation in the occupied city of Jerusalem, especially Al-Aqsa Mosque. The summit is set to discuss a number of regional issues including security in the Gulf, the Syrian crisis and the massacre of Muslims in Burma.
Sheikh Al-Khatib told Quds Press, "We call on the summit to work towards putting an end to the Israeli provocations targeting al-Aqsa Mosque and impairing the life of the city's residents." Al-Aqsa Mosque, he stressed, "is not for the Palestinians alone; it is an Islamic mosque for all Muslims". The "provocations and statements of extremist Jewish groups" must be stopped, and the mosque "should not be abandoned".
The Sheikh stressed that Al-Aqsa Mosque's entire 36 acre site is exclusively for Muslims: "Non-Muslims are not allowed to pray in it," he insisted.
When asked about claims that the US State Department's report on religious freedom in Jerusalem calls for Jews to be allowed to pray in Al-Aqsa, Sheikh Al-Khatib replied: "The US Consulate in Jerusalem clarified that this is not the case, and the State Department does not encourage Jews to pray in Al-Aqsa Mosque."