Islamic institutions in Jerusalem warned Israel on Sunday against the expansion of the Magharbeh Gate into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. The expansion proposal being considered by the Israeli government is apparently in response to calls by far-right extremists among illegal Jewish settlers.
The statement containing the warning was signed by the Council of Endowments, Islamic Affairs and Holy Sanctuaries; the Supreme Islamic Council; the Palestinian Darul Ifta (Islamic rulings’ body); the Court of the Chief Justice in Jerusalem; the Islamic Endowment Department; and the Department of Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs.
“The continuous provocative calls issued by the so-called Temple Mount groups to expand Magharbeh Gate are dangerous,” insisted the organisations. “The mosque and its compound — all of it — are at the core of Islamic beliefs held by Muslims all over the world.”
The settler groups proposed a plan to remove the sand hill and wooden bridge that connects Magharbeh Gate with Al-Buraq (“Western”) Wall plaza, and replace them with a new bridge ornamented with verses from the Torah. They have called for mass incursions at Al-Aqsa Mosque on 9 August to mark the alleged “destruction of the temple”.
The Islamic institutions also warned against the increasing calls, incitement and proposals for the Judaisation of Al-Aqsa Mosque, noting that such calls and proposals are always followed by mass incursions by illegal settlers of the Islamic holy site. No part of the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa is open to any form of division or partnership, they added, as they hailed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s guardianship over holy sites in the occupied city of Jerusalem.