Israeli forces closed down on Tuesday the Old City of Jerusalem, blocking access to the Aqsa Mosque, Radio Palestine reported. "Large numbers of Israeli forces and border guards are stationed in the town and around Al-Aqsa Mosque. All the town's entrances have been shut down," the radio added.
"Israeli bulldozers were seen heading towards the mosque and there are fears that they might destroy a bridge, two rooms, and a hill connecting the Buraq (wailing) Wall and the Aqsa Mosque. The Islamic Awqaf department meanwhile said such measures were part of a Judaizing plan for Jerusalem," the radio added.
It said," Israeli forces prevented thousands of Palestinian students in Jerusalem from going to school after it shut down the schools and also prevented the officials of the Islamic Awqaf department from going to Al-Aqsa Mosque." The radio quoted sources in the Islamic Awqaf department as saying Israel might take advantage of the Mecca talks between Fatah and Hamas movements to execute plans it announced it will carry out in Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, Palestine's General Mufti, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, warned Israel against any attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque. He told Radio Palestine that Israel has turned the town into a military area and prevented worshippers from praying in the mosque.
Meanwhile, the Palestine Scholars’ League (PSL) has urged Arab and Muslim Ummah to stand up in defense of the Aqsa Mosque and to spare it Israeli malicious plans to destroy it. “We should all defend the Aqsa Mosque even if it takes us to form an army of martyrs from all Palestinian factions to block the Zionists”, read a statement issued by the PSL.
The PLC has also strongly denounced the Israeli continuous "crimes" against the Aqsa Mosque especially the plan to demolish part of the holy shrine, calling for immediate Palestinian, Arab and Muslim moves to protect it. Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the acting PLC speaker, said that the Council's presidium strongly condemned the Israeli measures in occupied Jerusalem and the holy Aqsa Mosque including the IOA intention to demolish part of the shrine.
In a press release, he said that the Israeli aggression on the Aqsa Mosque constituted a "big crime" against Muslims and Islamic sanctities that could not be accepted.