Egypt's Al-Azhar – considered the world’s highest seat of Sunni Islamic learning –issued a statement on Thursday expressing its “extreme concern” over the “provocative measures” by Israeli forces at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Al-Azhar called on the international community to take action after Tel Aviv escalated security measures at Al-Aqsa Mosque, which has left many Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli forces.
The statement also denounced attacks by Israeli occupation forces on Palestinians trying to pray at the mosque, including the injuring of former Mufti of Jerusalem Akrama Sabri in clashes earlier this week.
Al-Azhar also expressed its support for the Palestinian people in facing Israeli occupation forces, calling on international community to save Al-Aqsa Mosque from “the arrogance of Israeli occupation” and to stop the attempt to "Judaize" Jerusalem and siege Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is located inside Al-Haram Al-Sharif compound, is considered the third holiest site in Islam. The mosque is also located at what Jews believe to be the site of the Temple Mount.
Earlier this week, Israel closed the mosque to Palestinians for Friday prayers for the second time since Israel occupied Jerusalem in 1967, installing metal detectors and cameras at the entrance to the Haram Al-Sharif Compound following the killing of two policemen at the site.
Palestinians then boycotted the Muslim holy compound in condemnation of the new security measures at the gates, preferring to pray outside the mosque in order not to pass through the metal detectors.
Confrontations and scuffles have erupted between Israeli occupation forces and Palestinians camping outside the holy site, leaving dozens of Palestinians injured by rubber bullets and tear gas.
Egypt has repeatedly called for a fair and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that guarantees the rights of Palestinians to have their own independent state with its capital based in East Jerusalem.