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Egypt’s Grand Mufti condemns Israeli settlers’ raids on Al-Aqsa

Grand Imam of al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb (4th R), Egypt's Grand Mufti Shawki Allam(R) and North Sinai Governor General Abd el-Fattah Harhour (2nd L) perform Friday prayers, inside al-Rawda mosque in Cairo, Egypt, 1 December 2017 [Stringer/Anadolu Agency]

Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam yesterday strongly condemned the recent storming by Israeli settlers on Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of the Israeli police forces as well as “their performance of the Jewish rituals and prayers inside the holy mosque.”

In an official statement, Allam warned of what he described as “the continuation of the Israeli occupation plans to Judaize the occupied city of Jerusalem, change its features and obliterate its true identity.”

The Egyptian clerk called on the international community and the regional organisations “to intervene immediately to stop the Israeli aggression against Jerusalem and its holy sites.”

Read: Settlers sing Israel national anthem at Al-Aqsa Mosque

“I call on the Islamic and Arab world, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to stand against the implementation of the Israeli plans that pose a serious threat to Al Aqsa Mosque and the holy city,” Allam added.

He stressed that the excavation work which is being carried out by the Israeli forces at Al-Aqsa’s vicinity and in Jerusalem’s Old City represent “a serious threat to the holy mosque in light of the Israeli attempts to Judaize Jerusalem.”

On Wednesday, more than 400 Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa from the mosque’s Moroccan Quarter under tight police protection. The settlers were chanting the Israeli anthem during their provocative tours around the mosque’s site, while others were performing their Jewish prayers and rituals inside the holy mosque.

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