Egypt's foreign ministry condemns storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli settlers

MENA , Ahram Online , Monday 8 Aug 2022

Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned on Sunday the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli settlers under the protection of Israeli police, calling it a violation of the sanctity of the mosque and a provocation against Muslims.

The headquarters of the Egyptian foreign ministry in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)


In a statement, the ministry said that such actions further inflame the situation, and called for the protection of Muslim worshippers and asserted the necessity of ceasing any provocative actions.

The ministry called for taking all measures to preserve the historical and legal status quo of Jerusalem and its Arab, Islamic and Christian sanctities, according to the statement. 

Hundreds of Israeli settlers escorted by Israeli police broke into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem on Sunday and performed Jewish rituals across its courtyards, WAFA reported.

The incident took place after so-called Temple Mount groups, who seek to destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque and replace it with a Jewish temple, called on their followers to be present at the Muslim holy place on Sunday to mark the Tisha B’av holiday, a day of fasting marking the destruction of the two Jewish temples more than 2,000 years ago.

Groups of Israeli settlers led by extremist rabbi Yehuda Glick entered the holy site in groups starting about 7am, while other groups of settlers waited near the Bab Al-Magharba (The Moroccan Gate) to be allowed gradually into the holy site, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA.

The settlers were reportedly confronted by a handful of Palestinian Muslim worshippers who held a night vigil inside the compound in an attempt to foil the Israeli raids into the holy site.

Earlier in the day, Israeli occupation forces arrested two Palestinians at one of the gates leading to the compound. The two have not been identified.

Israeli police also imposed strict restrictions on the entry of Palestinians and Muslim worshippers into the compound while the Israeli settlers were present there.

Since 2003, the Israeli occupation authorities have allowed settlers into the compound on an almost daily basis, with the exclusion of Friday, the Muslim day of rest and worship.

The Islamic Waqf, the Jordanian authority in charge of the holy sites in Jerusalem, has repeatedly described the settlers' presence in Al-Aqsa Mosque as "provocative", saying that Palestinian worshippers and guards at Al-Aqsa feel uncomfortable with the presence of Israeli police and settlers touring the Islamic holy site.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, in 1967 in a move that has not been recognised by the international community.

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