Israel has set up a watch tower at the Damascus Gate entrance of the Old City of Jerusalem, the Director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Omar Al-Kiswani, said yesterday warning of new Israeli violations against the mosque.
The watchtower was erected on Wednesday and equipped with advanced surveillance equipment. On the same day, Israeli occupation forces began work on a new multipurpose museum project near what Jews refer to as the “Western (or Wailing) Wall” and what Muslims call the “Buraq Wall”.
Al-Kiswani said in an interview with Quds Press that through these measures Israel seeks to empty the Old City of Jerusalem from its people, terrorise them and prevent them from entering it and to encourage Jewish extremists to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque.
He added that Israel also wants to change the historical situation and the holy city’s landmarks, stressing at the same time that those changes “will not give the occupier legitimacy and will increase Jerusalemites’ steadfastness and adherence to their right to Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Holy City”.
Al-Kiswani said Israel must be held accountable internationally for its violation of the status quo in Jerusalem.
According to international law, the Jerusalem Waqf Department of the Ministry of Awqaf, Islamic Affairs and Holy Places in Jordan is the official supervisor of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
In March 2013, Jordanian King Abdullah II and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed an agreement giving Jordan the right to “guardianship and defence of Jerusalem and holy sites” in Palestine.