The Directorate of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf revealed on Friday that the Israeli occupation authorities have rejected and prevented the implementation of its decision to increase the number of guards at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Director of Al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Omar Al-Kiswani explained: "Occupation authorities are constantly seeking to deport and arrest the guards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, especially in light of the increase in almost daily incursions by settlers to Al-Aqsa Mosque, and their attempts to perform Talmudic rituals and prayers."
In an exclusive statement to Arabi21, he stressed: "The violations by the occupation authorities and extremists are continuing against Al-Aqsa Mosque. The occupation is trying to impose new policies against Al-Aqsa Mosque, to create a new reality."
Due to the expected increase in the number of settlers that may raid Al-Aqsa Mosque, Al-Kiswani shared: "There is a decision to increase the number of guards and employees, in coordination with the Jordanian Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs".
He indicated: "There are interventions (by the occupation) to prevent the guards who were employed or re-employed by those previously contracted in 2017. The occupation authorities threatened to arrest the new guards if they start their job."
He considers that the practices of the occupation authorities are: "A blatant interference in the affairs of Islamic Awqaf. This matter has been reported to the Jordanian Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, and it is addressing the matter with the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs – this is what we were promised."
The Director of the Directorate of Jerusalem Islamic Waqf warned: "The directorate is keen that the guards of Al-Aqsa Mosque are not to be arrested or attacked by the occupation."
"The Directorate of Jerusalem Islamic Waqf is carrying out its duty towards Al-Aqsa Mosque, and preserving its Islamic and Arab identity, even though the price for that may be high, which is the deportation and arresting of Al-Aqsa guards, the expulsion of employees and the restriction on the Directorate of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf," he informed Arabi21.
He stressed that all occupation measures: "Will not deter us from fulfilling our duty towards Al-Aqsa Mosque and preserving it, in light of the fierce attack of the occupation against it."
The official of the Directorate of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf expressed his deep regret over the state of: "Failure of the Arab and Islamic position towards what is happening in Al-Aqsa, which is a stance that unfortunately does not support the position of the directorate in facing the fierce attack on Al-Aqsa and attempts to Judaise it, and the rejection of the de facto policy by force of occupation and weapons."
Al-Quds International Institution confirmed: "The targeting of Al-Aqsa guards and Directorate of Jerusalem Islamic Waqf staff by the occupation aims to end the presence of the Islamic Awqaf, to impose the occupation's management of Al-Aqsa, to monopolise the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to assume control over it instead of the Islamic Awqaf."
Al-Quds International Institution expressed its surprise in a statement received by Arabi21 that the repeated attacks by the occupation against the guards of Al-Aqsa and the staff of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf: "Passed without any comment or official Jordanian position at any level."
The institution warned: "The occurrence of such aggression without any response would tempt the occupation with greater aggression, and it is a dangerous indication about the retreat of the official cover for Al-Aqsa Mosque, at a time when it is exposed to an existential threat targeting its identity."