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Muslim world condemns Israel’s closure of al-Aqsa Mosque

15 July 2017 10:36

 

The Muslim world has denounced Israel’s recent move to shut down the al-Aqsa Mosque after a deadly shooting at the holy mosque’s compound in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The Friday gunfight took place just outside the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) and left three Palestinians and two Israeli police officers dead.

Following the incident, Israeli police closed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, briefly detained Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem al-Quds, and cancelled Muslim Friday prayers at the site.

“We insist on reaching al-Aqsa mosque and performing prayers there. The occupation preventing us from praying marks an assault against our right to worship in this pure Islamic mosque,” Sheikh Muhammad said.

The measures taken by the Tel Aviv regime drew condemnations from the Muslim world.

Israeli forces stand guard as Muslim worshippers pray outside the Damascus Gate, a main entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds, on July 14, 2017, after the al-Aqsa Mosque was closed for Friday prayers by Israeli authorities following a shootout. (Photo by AFP)

 

Dozens arrested after shooting

In the immediate aftermath Friday’s shootout, Israeli forces detained dozens of employees of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, an Islamic religious trust that manages the current Islamic edifices on and around the Haram al-Sharif.

Firas Dibs, head of the Waqf public relations, told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency that Israeli forces had detained 58 staff of the organization, and interrogated them over the gunfight.

The occupied lands have witnessed tensions ever since Israeli forces imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound two years ago.

The Tel Aviv regime has been trying to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem al-Quds by constructing settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.

More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since October 2015, when the tensions intensified.

Tel Aviv has come under fire for using violence against Palestinians and adopting a policy of shoot-to-kill.

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