On Thursday, Al-Azhar religious institution in Egypt, the leading Sunni institution in the Arab and Muslim world, denounced David Friedman's showing of a picture of the city of Jerusalem, in which the "alleged Temple" appears in the place of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Al-Azhar warned in a statement that Al-Aqsa "is more valuable than the lives of Muslims."
Al-Azhar said that it has seen with deep disapproval "the circulated image by a number of media outlets, in which David Friedman, the US ambassador to the Zionist occupation, shows a picture of the city of Jerusalem without Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, but that includes the so-called alleged Temple."
Al-Azhar described this act as "an irresponsible behaviour in the context of the continued Zionist-US provocations of the feelings of more than 1.5 billion Muslims around the world."
It pointed out that "such abhorrent violations will not change anything in history. Jerusalem will remain the capital of the Palestinian State, and Al-Aqsa Mosque will remain more valuable than the lives of Muslims."
Al-Azhar warned of the continuation of the US-Zionist plans that are targeting Al-Aqsa Mosque.
It said that "the silence on these ongoing violations threatens peace and security in the entire region."
What's missing in this photo of Jerusalem that US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is looking at? The Dome of the Rock & Al-Aqsa Mosque. Removing the Islamic holy sites is a long-term goal of far-right Israeli Jewish extremists who want to erase Palestinians from Jerusalem. pic.twitter.com/Y0AnKbAm2B
— The IMEU (@theIMEU) May 22, 2018
This came in response to a photo of Friedman, showing him smiling when he received a gift consisting of a large picture of the city of Jerusalem but without the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which has been replaced by the "alleged Temple."
The photo was taken during Friedman's visit to the city of Bnei Brak in central Israel a few days ago.
The US embassy in Tel Aviv said in a press statement that "Ambassador Friedman was not aware of the content of the picture that was in front of him when the photo was taken."
The embassy added: "The US policy is clear. We support the current situation in the Haram Esh-Sharif/ Temple Mount."