Speakers at an Al-Quds Day event sponsored by Iran said on Tuesday that Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque are currently subject to "the most brutal ever attacks" by the Israeli occupation authorities, Al-Sabeel has reported.
"The Israeli attacks carried out against Al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan reiterate the plans of the Israeli occupation to impose its control over the Islamic holy site," said the Grand Imam of Al-Aqsa, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri. The veteran scholar criticised the Arab countries which "are busy normalising their ties with the Israeli occupation state while it is attacking their third holiest place – Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem."
Muslim Scholar Sheikh Issa Qasem from Bahrain also lamented the normalisation with Israel by Arab states which "undermines Arabic and Islamic identity," especially given the spiritual symbolism of Al-Aqsa for Muslims.
"The [normalisation] Arab rulers have conceded Jerusalem and Palestine for a cheap price, sitting on their thrones," said the Sunni Mufti in Iraq, Sheikh Mahdi Sameedi. "Muslim scholars must stand up and carry out their job and remind the rulers that they have to protect Jerusalem and seek the liberation of Palestine."
With Al-Quds — Jerusalem — as the focus, several other speakers focused their comments on the status of the city.
"Jerusalem," insisted the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in the city, Archbishop Atallah Hanna, "has been, is and will continue to be Palestinian and belong to its real owners. All colonial measures imposed by Israel are illegal and illegitimate."
The leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Ziyad Al-Nakhala, said: "The Palestinians are standing up today to say that Jerusalem is ours. Our fighters are spread all around the area of Palestine. They will not retreat before achieving victory."
Ahmed Fuad, the Secretary General of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, used his speech to pay tribute to the resilience of the people of occupied Palestine. "The Palestinian people do not know despair," he told the audience. "They will not stop, no matter what the cost."