Head of Jerusalem Endowment Council Sheikh Abdul-Azim Salhab yesterday accused the Israeli government of working to “ignite a religious war” by targeting Muslim clerics, Arab48 reported.
“Al-Aqsa Mosque is a place of worship for Muslims alone and it seems that the Israeli government is attempting to change the status quo,” he said, “but this will never happen.”
Sheikh Salhab added: “Israel does not respect any agreement regarding Al-Aqsa Mosque. Since the time when US President Donald Trump announced Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it has been escalating its actions against Muslims in Al-Aqsa Mosque.
“Before the eyes of the world, Israel claims that it maintains freedom of worship for Muslims, but the truth is that its security services are working all the time to disturb them. They also expel Muslim clerics from the mosque so they cannot lead prayers.”
Regarding the deportation order issued against him and the other clerics and activists, the Sheikh said: “We do not recognise these orders. We will not appeal against them because appealing against them legalises the Israeli courts. We will not accept any new reality imposed by the occupation.”
Sheikh Salhab believes that the Israeli occupation is working to give the extremist Jewish settlers an opportunity to build a synagogue inside Al-Aqsa Mosque throughout these measures.
“The Israel government has made it clear that it is protecting settlers who invade Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to build a Jewish synagogue in some part of it,” Sheikh Salhab said, stressing: “Our duty is to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque which is facing a real danger.”
Israeli police banned Salhab and another Muslim cleric from Al-Aqsa Mosque yesterday.