Israeli occupation forces have turned Jerusalem into a military base to choke Al-Aqsa Mosque, Grand Imam, Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, said yesterday.
"Israeli measures in Jerusalem and against Al-Aqsa Mosque reiterate the Zionist plans to dominate the holy city," Sheikh Sabri said.
"Israeli raids of Al Aqsa Mosque are carried out under protection provided by the occupation authorities," he said, adding that settlers would "not dare to raid Al-Aqsa Mosque without protection. This is a proof that they are aggressors and Al-Aqsa is not theirs."
More than 600 Palestinians have been arrested from Al-Aqsa Mosque and more than 500 injured over the past few weeks.
Sheikh Sabri called for all Arab and Muslim countries to exert as much political and diplomatic efforts to press the occupation to backtrack from its aggression on Jerusalem, Jerusalemites and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
He said that Jerusalemites are fighting the occupation on behalf of the whole Ummah, but stressed: "This does not exempt all Muslims from carrying out the defence duty."