Sheikh Ikrama Sabri, a senior Imam at Al-Aqsa Mosque, has denounced the Knesset decision to discuss a proposal submitted by a militant Jewish MK to divide access to Al-Aqsa Mosque and allow Jews to perform Talmudic rituals therein on specific days when Muslims will be prevented from entering. The mufti called it an "an aggressive, advanced step" and pointed out that this "confirms Jewish designs on Al-Aqsa Mosque at all levels".
In a statement to the local media, Sheikh Sabri explained that "the ambitions of the Israeli occupation are no longer confined to extremist groups and right-wing parties; they also extend across the government, parliament and courts." Al-Aqsa Mosque, he stressed "is not subject to negotiation, and it's the duty of Muslim rulers and citizens to defend and protect" the site, the third holiest in the Islamic world. "The Jews," added Sheikh Sabri, "have nothing to do with Al-Aqsa Mosque."
The Sheikh, who is also the President of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem, attributed the official silence on the Israeli threats to Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque to the fact that "the issue of the Noble Sanctuary and Holy City has been forgotten, paving the way for Israel's aggression".
Sheikh Sabri said that he holds the Arab and Islamic governments fully responsible for what happens to Al-Aqsa Mosque: "We deplore and condemn the suspicious silence of the regimes regarding the attacks in Jerusalem, especially the serious proposal to split Al-Aqsa Mosque in a way similar to what has been done at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron."
Urging the Arab members of the Knesset, and all Islamic and Arab forces in Jerusalem, to oppose the latest threat, Sheikh Sabri added that "all options are open to stop this proposal; we must not allow it to reach fruition, no matter what the cost".