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Religious bodies condemn occupation police raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israeli police officers are seen in front of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem on 14 January 2019 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli police officers are seen in front of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem on 14 January 2019 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Islamic religious bodies in the eastern city of Jerusalem condemned on Thursday the Israeli police’s raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque.

This came in a joint statement, which Anadolu Agency received a copy of, commenting on the Israeli police chief in Jerusalem Yoram Halifi’s storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque with a group of veterans who occupied it and the city of East Jerusalem in 1967.

The Ministry of Awqaf signed the statement, Islamic Affairs and Holy Places, the Islamic Supreme Committee, the Palestinian Fatwa Department, the Endowments and Islamic Affairs Department and the acting judge.

The statement said that “the militarisation of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and programmed Jewish intrusions came in the context of electoral propaganda for the extreme right and what comes in the next period, and we should be very cautious of its hidden effects.”

READ: On the Judaisation of education in Jerusalem

The bodies condemned the Jerusalem police chief, Halifi, and the delegation accompanying him following their raid on “all the prayer halls and the squares of Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

They pointed out that the intrusion occurred “despite the Ministry of Awqaf, Islamic Affairs and Holy Places objection and by force, which has serious implications and dimensions on the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

The Jerusalem authorities reiterated that Al-Aqsa Mosque is a holy place for Muslims only and “is not up for concession, negotiation or division.”

They added that “what these people are doing will not underestimate the Islamic holiness of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and that millions of the Muslim world will not stand idly by in front of this barbarism.”

The Israeli police are facilitating the Israeli settlers’ incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque through the Mughrabi Gate in the western wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is controlled by the police.

Israeli incursions began in 2003 amid protests by the Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Department, which runs the affairs of the mosque and is affiliated to the Jordanian Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. The Endowments and Islamic Affairs Department said that about 30,000 extremists stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in 2018.

READ: Al-Aqsa under threat as Israeli elections loom

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