Al-Azhar's Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb
Egypt’s Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb has denounced the world’s silence towards the storming of Al-Aqsa mosque by Israeli authorities and the violations against Palestinians in East Jerusalem, describing it as “disgraceful”.
“The world remains disgracefully silent towards callous Zionist terrorism and the violations committed against Al-Aqsa Mosque and our brothers in Palestine,” El-Tayyeb wrote on Facebook on Monday.
“Palestine will forever remain steadfast, and its people will continue their struggle to defend their land, honour, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the first Qibla and the third holiest site in Islam,” he added.
The recent crackdowns in East Jerusalem by Israeli police on Palestinians are fuelled by Israel’s years-long plans to evict Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah district in East Jerusalem.
Scuffles between Israeli police forces and Palestinians erupted on Friday after Israeli forces confronted Palestinians who were observing the last Friday of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Israeli forces tried to disperse them, using rubber bullets, water-cannon mounted armoured vehicles, and stun grenades.
The crackdowns continue through Monday, with Israeli police storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and firing rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades at rock-throwing Palestinians, leaving scores of Palestinians wounded.
On Friday, the Egyptian foreign ministry denounced in a statement the ongoing Israeli endeavour to evict Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah district.
“It represents a violation of the international legitimacy resolutions and international humanitarian law, and a continuation of the policy of forced displacement of Palestinians,” the statement added.
On Sunday, officials from the Egyptian foreign ministry held a meeting with Israeli Ambassador to Cairo Amira Oron, where they asserted the country’s complete rejection and denouncement for the storming of Israeli authorities to Al-Aqsa mosque.
The Egyptian officials stressed the necessity to respect Islamic holy places, provide protection to Palestinian civilians, and protect their rights in practising their religion.