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Israel court allows settlers to pray out loud in Al-Aqsa

Israeli settlers escorted by Israeli forces raid the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem on 17 April 2022 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli settlers escorted by Israeli forces raid the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem on 17 April 2022 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

An Israeli occupation court yesterday issued a preliminary ruling allowing settlers to perform their Talmudic prayers "aloud" and to kneel during their storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyards.

In its decision, the court considered that performing the Shema Yisrael (translating to "Hear, O Israel") aloud and kneeling on the ground inside Al-Aqsa Mosque, cannot be criminalised or considered a breach of civil peace.

In conclusion the court stated: "All residents of Israel are allowed to ascend to the Temple Mount and to practice their religious rituals."

The Palestinian Authority condemned the decision.

In a statement, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry considered this decision "an official Israeli coup against the status quo, changing it completely, and an explicit declaration of religious war that threatens to explode the conflict arena and the entire region."

The Foreign Ministry said that this decision is "new evidence that the judicial and court system in Israel is an integral part of the occupation system itself, and further evidence of providing legal protection and coverage for extremist Jews' invasions into the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, with the aim of consolidating its temporal division until it is divided spatially."

It also pointed out that the decision "falls within the framework of the systematic Israeli escalation in the conflict arena and summoning the cycle of violence and chaos in order to pass the largest possible number of colonial projects that Judaise Jerusalem."

READ: Israeli extremist calls for demolition of Dome of the Rock

The ministry also noted that the decision "refutes the claims of Israeli officials regarding their keenness to maintain the status quo."

It said the Israeli government held "full and direct responsibility for the decision and its serious consequences," stressing that it will follow up on it with the international community, especially the US administration, and demand immediate intervention to stop its implementation, in coordination with the Kingdom of Jordan.

The Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also condemned the decision.

The official spokesman for the ministry, Ambassador Haitham Abu Al-Ful, said in a press statement that the decision is null and has no legal effect according to international law, which does not recognise the authority of the Israeli judiciary over the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem. He also stated that it is a flagrant violation of international resolutions related to Jerusalem, including Security Council resolutions, all of which stress the need to preserve the status of the Holy City.

He added that the decision is a serious violation of the historical and legal situation in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.

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