Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam has warned against the Tel Aviv regime’s plans to Judaize the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds and obliterate its true identity, after Israeli authorities banned the raising of the Muslim call to prayer at the Ibrahimi Mosque under the pretext that settlers were celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim.
Allam, in a statement released on Friday, denounced the repeated incursions of Israeli settlers into Palestinian mosques, particularly the al-Aqsa Mosque, under the protection of Israeli police forces, and their performance of Talmudic rituals inside the sacred site.
He also slammed the Israeli officials’ recent repressive measures in the occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds, stressing the need for implementation of the principles of the international law to stop settlers from holding rites in Palestinian religious sites.
Allam then warned against the Israeli regime’s plans to Judaize Jerusalem al-Quds, change its features and obliterate its true identity.
He stressed that the excavation work under the al-Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings as well as in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem al-Quds represent a serious threat to the mosque.
Separately, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said the ban was “a call for religious war.”
It went on to urge the international community and relevant UN organizations and councils to assume their legal and moral responsibilities in protecting holy sites.
The Director and head of the Ibrahimi Mosque, Sheikh Hefzi Abu Sneina, said the ban came into effect on Thursday and will remain in place until Saturday evening.
He added that these measures are an infringement on the freedom of worship guaranteed by international law.
The al-Aqsa Mosque compound sits just above the Western Wall plaza and houses both the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque.
According to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government after Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem al-Quds in 1967, non-Muslim worship at the compound is prohibited.
The number of Israeli lawmakers who storm the holy compound has increased after the regime's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided in July 2018 to permit such visits once every three months.
Many of the Knesset members are right-wing extremists, who support the demolition of the Islamic site in order to build a Jewish temple instead.
Palestinians want the occupied West Bank as part of their future independent state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of their future sovereign state.
UN urges Israel to cease Palestinian home demolitions, property seizures
The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, has called on the Israeli regime to put an end to its policies of demolition of Palestinian-owned homes and seizure of Palestinian properties throughout the occupied West Bank, and to allow Palestinians to develop their own communities.
The appeal came after a briefing to the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East said Israeli authorities had demolished or seized 170 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C and 10 in East Jerusalem al-Quds, displacing some 314 Palestinians, including 67 women and 177 children in February and last Novemeber.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – besieged since 2007 – during the six-day Arab-Israeli war in 1967.
Shortly after capturing East Jerusalem al-Quds, the Tel Aviv regime expanded the municipal boundaries of the city to take in large areas of land on which it later constructed settlements.
At the same time, it sharply limited the expansion of Palestinian neighborhoods, forcing many in the increasingly crowded areas to build illegally.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.
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