Riyadh, 16 Shawal 1436/1 August 2015 (MINA) – Condemning recent violations against Al-Aqsa mosque, Saudi Council of Muslim scholar has accused Israel of practicing ‘state terrorism’ against worshippers in Islam’s third holiest site.
“Israeli aggression against Muslim worshipers and the infringements that occurred in the sacred mosque… provoke Muslims and constitute severe violations of basic human rights,” the council declared in a statement.
The statement followed recent clashes at Al-Aqsa mosque, during which dozens of Palestinians and four Israeli soldiers were injured after a group of extremist Jewish settlers, backed by Israeli security forces, entered to the mosque compound to mark a Jewish religious holiday, On Islam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
The settlers were led by the Netanyahu government’s Minister for Agriculture Uri Arie.
Storming the mosque, the Israeli police fired sound bombs and rubber bullets, leaving dozens of Palestinians injured.
On the other hand, the Israelis claimed that it raided the holy site to root out rioting Palestinians.
One day after the clashes, Nickolay Mladenov, the UN’s top Middle East envoy, condemned the Jewish settlers’ provocative actions at the holy site.
“I call upon all religious and political leaders to prevent extremist elements from abusing the sanctity of holy sites,” he declared.
The Muslim scholars’ council said that Al-Aqsa Mosque was of great value to Islam and Muslims around the world, urging “all Muslim people and governments to support and help their Palestinian brothers and prevent the Jews from continuing their aggression against Al-Aqsa and help end the unjust [Israeli] occupation.”
The council also called on the international community to adopt a single definition of “terrorism” and to refrain from employing “double standards” when describing the acts of the Israeli army.
The Israeli army practiced “state terrorism,” which, it went on to assert, “is more dangerous than any other [form of] terrorism,” the council added.
Al-Aqsa is the Muslims’ first Qiblah [direction Muslims take during prayers] and it is the third holiest shrine after Al Ka`bah in Makkah and Prophet Muhammad’s Mosque in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.
Its significance has been reinforced by the Islamic incident of Al Isra’a and Al Mi’raj — the night journey from Makkah to Al-Quds and the ascent to the Heavens by Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him).
Israel occupied the holy city of Al-Quds, the West Bank and Golan Heights in the 1967 war and later annexed them in a move not recognized by the international community or UN resolutions.
Since then, Israel has adopted a series of oppressive measures to force the Palestinians out of Al-Quds, including systematic demolition of their homes and building settlements. (T/P011/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)