Yerussalem — A leading Muscat-based Palestinian expert says the Israeli occupation forces recently blocked the entry of more than 320,000 worshipers into Jerusalem al Quds who had come to pray at Al Aqsa Mosque on the third Friday of Ramadhan.
Hisham Wasef, a high-ranking official in the Palestinian embassy here, said Israel also prevented Palestinian busses from entering the city of Jerusalem al Quds, and prevented Palestinian men under 40 from entering the holy city.
Similarly, on the first Friday (July 20) of Ramadhan, Israeli occupiers tightened military procedures in Jerusalem al Quds and put several military checkpoints to prevent many Muslim worshipers from reaching Al Aqsa Mosque to pray on the first day of Ramadhan.
Meanwhile, Hisham Wasef said worldwide Muslim leaders were outraged recently by Israeli attorney general’s remarks that “Al Aqsa Mosque is integral to Israeli territory and under Israeli Law”.
Prominent Palestinian leader Saeb Erekat protested the comment, saying it went against UN Security Council resolutions and the Palestinian-Israeli agreements. Erekat stressed that East Jerusalem al Quds with its holy places and archaeological sites is part of an occupied territory. All the Israeli attempts to annex them are illegal and unrecognized.”
The Palestinians want the eastern part of Jerusalem al Quds as their capital, which was annexed by Israel following the 1967 War and has remained under its administrative control since to the disgust of world Muslims.
The Jordanian Minister of Religious Endowments also recently affirmed that Al Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem al Quds is “part of the Islamic faith” and accused Israeli soldiers and settlers of “defiling” the sacred mosque with their incursions. Abdus-Salam al Abadi was reacting to Israeli claims that the courtyard of the Noble Sanctuary of Al Aqsa is “public space” and can be turned into “public parks”. Al Abadi said that such moves would be “clear aggression against the sanctity of Al Aqsa Mosque which, apart from provoking Muslim anger, are serious breaches of international conventions.”
The whole Noble Sanctuary is “Al Aqsa Mosque”, stressed Al Abadi. “This includes all of the land, mosques, benches, domes open spaces and other facilities across the sanctuary’s 37 acres,” he insisted. “This is the correct Shariah definition of Al Aqsa Mosque which is mentioned in the Holy Quran.”
Earlier, Kamal al Khatib, the vice chairman of the Islamic Movement inside Israel, revealed that the Israeli-led municipality of Jerusalem had announced that the open spaces of Al Aqsa Mosque are “public parks” in an attempt to detach them from the mosque and facilitate their use by Israeli settlers.
Hisham Wasef also said that in a recent meeting Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian PM in Gaza, met with the Egyptian president in Cairo and discussed a number of issues of common interests.
President Morsi “promised to take measures that would ease the lives of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip”. The meeting focussed on subjects including “lifting the siege and the suffering of the people in Gaza” and reconciliation between Palestinian factions.