The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, reiterated on Sunday that access to and the use of Al-Aqsa Mosque "is an exclusive right" for Muslims.
"Any aggression on Al-Aqsa Mosque or on the Muslims who pray in it is considered aggression against the freedom of worship guaranteed by international conventions and humanitarian ethics," said the Patriarch. A copy of his statement was sent to MEMO.
The senior Greek Orthodox official condemned the attempts of "extremist settlers to provoke Muslims and Christians through continuous aggression and incitement against Al-Haram Al-Sharif [the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa].
Any incursion at Al-Aqsa Mosque without reference to and the agreement of the Department of Religious Endowments "is a raid that must be stopped," he added. This was a clear reference to the daily raids made by illegal Israeli settlers under the protection of Israeli police and soldiers.
In closing, Patriarch Theophilos III hailed the Jordanian and Palestinian efforts, along with the efforts of the High Committee for Church Affairs in Palestine, in defence of Islamic and Christian holy sites in occupied Jerusalem.