Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has vowed to fight Israel over the regime’s latest move to close the al-Aqsa Mosque compound to Palestinian worshippers.
Haniyeh, who took part in a mass protest in Gaza on the Day of Rage on Friday, said the resistance movement would not allow the Israeli regime to do as it likes on the compound.
He warned that the temporary closure of the al-Aqsa Mosque was part of an Israeli plan to destroy the holy site.
“The Israeli enemy is entering a very dangerous phase in carrying out its tasks towards the sacred mosque,” the Palestinian leader said.
“They (Israelis) plan to assign different prayer times for Jews and Arabs and think seriously about destroying the holy mosque by building underground tunnels beneath it,” Haniyeh added.
He emphasized that the Palestinian people would not give up and not remain indifferent, but would fight for their holy sites.
Israel closed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Thursday to Muslim worshippers after a 32-year-old Palestinian, Moataz Hejazi, on October 29 made an attempt on the life of Yehuda Glick, an American-born Israeli settler.
Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian national unity government, has warned that Israel’s move amounts to a “declaration of war.”
The al-Aqsa compound, located in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds, is a flashpoint holy Islamic site. The location of the compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is the holiest site in Judaism, too. The mosque is Islam’s third holiest site after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina, Saudi Arabia.