File Photo: An armed Israeli gestures amid clashes between settlers and Palestinians in Burin village, after settlers reportedly set cars on fire in the village on Feb. 25, 2023. File AFP
Al-Azhar "categorically rejects the terrorist Zionist entity tearing and burning of copies of the Noble Quran," said a statement from the world’s leading Sunni Islamic religious institution.
The statement highlighted that these heinous crimes are consistent with "the brutal nature of the colonial entity," referring to Israel.
The institution was responding to an incident Wednesday captured on video showing Israeli settlers storming a mosque in Urif. They vandalized the building in addition to ripping pages out of the Quran before discarding it in the street.
Settlers also set fire to a school and attempted to burn down houses and a mosque.
Al-Azhar emphasized that these continued crimes, which are a grave violation of international law, norms and agreements, underscores the passivity of the international community.
The international charters clearly stipulate the need to respect religious sanctities and ensure freedom of worship, noted the statement.
"It is also due time to take swift and binding action to establish an independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds Ash-Sharif (Jerusalem) as its capital," Al-Azhar asserted.
The incident in Urif came amid a wave of Israeli attacks on Palestinian villages in the West Bank over the last week.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, approximately 200 Israeli settlers, some armed and under the protection of the Israeli army, carried out a brutal attack on the Palestinian village of Turmus Ayya in the central West Bank, murdering one Palestinian and wounding dozens of others. They also burned 30 houses, 60 cars and dozens of olive trees.
Egypt called on Wednesday, for an immediate cessation of the attacks by Israeli settlers.