The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has reiterated that it believes Muslims should not visit Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque as long as they are under Israeli occupation.
In a press statement released on Thursday, Hamas criticised the recent recommendation to end the ban on Muslims’ visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque while the holy city is under Israeli occupation. The recommendation was made by a group of scholars attending the Road to Jerusalem conference held in Amman, Jordan between 28 and 30 April 2014.
The ban is in effect so as not to normalise the Israeli occupation nor fund it through tourism.
Hamas described the recommendation as a reward to Israel for its continued violations against Islamic sacred sites.
Furthermore, the movement pointed out that this recommendation is not based on a consensus of scholars, and thus it will not gain momentum because it only serves Israel and the proponents of the normalisation of relations with the Israelis.
And while the scholars who participated in the conference provided justifications for lifting the ban in order to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque, Hamas insisted that these objectives could still be achieved without visiting the mosque while it is under occupation.
Hamas noted that the door is still open for defending Al-Aqsa Mosque and supporting the resolve of Palestinians in Jerusalem, but this is pending practical moves by Arab and Muslim states.
The Palestinian resistance movement believes the call for visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque at this particular point in time will only serve Israel’s interests and facilitate normalisation.
The movement welcomed all efforts made in defence of Al-Aqsa Mosque, in support of the Palestinians and against the steps taken by Israel to deport Palestinians out of Jerusalem and their efforts to further Judaise the city. Hamas expressed its appreciation of all official and popular efforts made in solidarity with Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa.