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Jerusalem priest calls on Christians to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque from Israeli raids

Father Manuel Musallam speaks to Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmud al-Zahar (not seen) at Alaelah al-Moqdasah Christian school in Gaza City 02 February 2006. [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images]
Father Manuel Musallam speaks to Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmud al-Zahar (not seen) at Alaelah al-Moqdasah Christian school in Gaza City 02 February 2006. [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images]

Father Manuel Musallam, a Palestinian catholic priest, yesterday called for all Christians in Palestine to mobilise and protect Al-Aqsa Mosque from planned Israeli settler raids in the coming days and weeks.

In a press release, Musallam said that the "success of the settler plans to demolish Al-Aqsa Mosque means the demolition of the Christian and Islamic existence in Jerusalem."

Addressing Christians in Jerusalem and across historic Palestine, he asked they must "to stand side-by-side along with Muslim brothers, defending Al-Aqsa Mosque from the Israeli aggression."

He reiterated that "protecting Al-Aqsa Mosque means protecting the Church of Holy Sepulchre and the Church of Nativity, as well as the Islamic and Christian existence in Palestine."

Musallam stressed that Palestinians "have been facing aggressive attacks since the creation of the occupation state, and Al-Aqsa Mosque is the symbolic target identified by Theodor Herzel, the founder of the Zionist Movement."

The Palestinian priest, who served in Jordan, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip before his retirement, highlighted the importance of mobilisation in the streets and roads leading to Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

He also called for organising "united Islamic-Christian marches in all the Palestinians cities and towns to move towards Jerusalem and reiterate their Palestinian identity against the occupation's plans."

READ: Arafat's nephew: PA policies destroyed Palestinian institutions

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