Al-Azhar Condemns Preventing Muslims from Praying at Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israeli police forensic experts carry the body of a Palestinian at the scene of an attack in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, Friday, July 14, 2017.


Cairo, 21 Shawwal 1438/15 July 2017 (MINA) – Al-Azhar, the world’s oldest Sunni institute of Islamic learning, on Friday condemned strongly the Israel’s closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque and banning worshippers from performing Friday prayers, KUNA reported.

In a statement, Al-Azhar warned that the Israeli occupation authorities are exploiting incidents in the Palestinian territories so as to carry out the judaization of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Such violations anger Muslims across the globe, and threaten stability, it said, adding that the move is an additional crime committed by Israel against humanity and the holy sites.

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Al-Azhar urged all international bodies and powers to assume their responsibilities towards the Palestinian people and the holy places, and to force Israel to reopen the Mosque and release Al-Quds Mufti Mohammad Hussein and former mufti Ikrima Sabri, the statement said.

Israeli police said Friday prayers for Muslims would not be held at the site following the attack for security reasons, while forces scanned the area for weapons and investigated the incident.

Authorities have often restricted access to the Aqsa mosque when concerned about possible violence there, but a total shutdown is rare.

The Palestinian Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammad Hussein, called on Palestinians to defy the shutdown.

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“We completely reject the ban by Israeli authorities,” Hussein told Reuters by telephone. “We have urged our Palestinian people to rush to al Aqsa today and every day to hold their prayers.” (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)