The Iranian foreign ministry strongly rejected the Israeli regime’s plan to divide the al-Aqsa mosque, and stressed Tehran’s support for the Palestinians’ demands.
“Iran has always condemned such views. Palestine is the heart of Islam and the al-Aqsa mosque is the heart of Palestine and raising such issues is aimed at the continued occupation and expansionist policies of the Israeli regime and we condemn it, and support the Palestinians’ demands,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said in Tehran on Wednesday.
“The Al-Aqsa mosque belongs to all divine religions and such a division is not acceptable,” she added.
Her remarks followed reports that the Israeli Knesset (parliament) was to restart a highly contentious discussion on dividing the al-Aqsa Mosque—Islam’s holiest site in Jerusalem—between Muslims and illegal Israeli settlers in November.
The discussions follow Jewish demands to pray and perform Talmudic rituals at the al-Aqsa Mosque which, though under Israeli occupation, is administered by an Islamic Waqf (endowment) under the Jordanian government.
In February, the Knesset held an inflammatory debate in which right wing Israeli politicians pushed forward the idea that Israel should have sovereignty over the site.
Analysts believe that these debates reveal Israeli intentions to divide al-Aqsa, despite Israeli claims that the site is not under threat.
They say that such a decision is an indicative of the stealth policies against Palestinians to eradicate their historic, national and religious heritage from the occupied territories.
The al-Aqsa Mosque has been the scene of appalling violence in recent weeks, and Palestinian worshippers have faced increasing attacks and limits on their freedom to enter into the area and pray within the precincts of al-Aqsa.
Right-wing Israelis want to see the mosque divided between Muslims and Jews, which would be a massive infringement of Palestinian sovereignty over the historic site.