Egypt's Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam (Photo: Ahram)
Egypt's Grand Mufti, Shawki Allah, strongly condemned on Wednesday the construction of a platform next to the prayer area of the Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, and the storming of the premises by dozens of Israeli settlers.
"Building a platform right next to the blessed Aqsa mosque is a grave and unacceptable violation of a historic Islamic monument," read the statement by the Mufti - Egypt's highest Sunni official of Islamic law - on Wednesday.
"Israeli occupation forces and extremist settlers continue to intentionally provoke the feelings of Muslims," the statement added.
Dozens of Israeli settlers broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Wednesday morning, heavily escorted by Israeli police officers, Palestinian officials told Palestinian news agency Ma'an.
Israel controls 78 percent of Palestine. Incidents of storming Al-Aqsa mosque by Israeli settlers are an ongoing occurrence.
Earlier on Wednesday, in the most damning Palestinian assessment to date, Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbass, said that the fresh round of negotiations, which kicked off in late July after a three year hiatus, are thus far proving pointless.