by Kifah Ziboun
“We only accept that the situation returns to what it was before July 14 (the date of the closure of the mosque.”
Ramallah– The Palestinian Authority (PA) and national and religious figures in Jerusalem have voiced their rejection to all alternative measures to the electronic gates placed at the entrances of Al-Aqsa Mosque, as occupation forces have installed modern surveillance cameras and started promoting other security measures at the compound.
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Mohammed Hussein said that all recent procedures adopted at Al-Aqsa Mosque were strongly rejected, adding: “We only accept that the situation returns to what it was before July 14 (the date of the closure of the mosque.”
“All other Israeli measures at Al-Aqsa are rejected,” he stated.
On July 14, Al-Aqsa mosque was closed for two days following an attack on Israeli police officers near the site.
Israeli authorities partially reopened the site in the next 48 hours, but placed electronic gates and metal detectors at the entrances to search worshipers.
The security measures sparked a wave of condemnations and violent confrontations broke out in Jerusalem in the days that followed.
The Palestinian foreign affairs ministry condemned on Sunday all procedures taken by the occupation forces at Al-Aqsa.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemns, in the strongest terms, all the measures taken by the occupation authorities against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, whether by placing electronic gates on its gates or cameras in its surroundings and yards, or by controlling the entry of worshipers and physically examining and humiliating them,” the ministry said in a statement published on its website.
“These colonial measures aim at subjugating Al-Aqsa Mosque’s status to negotiations, creating a new reality in which an Israeli sovereignty is imposed on Al-Aqsa Mosque, and challenging the role played by the Islamic Endowments in Al-Haram Alsharif,” the statement added.
It went on to say: “The Ministry affirms that the current battle of Al-Aqsa is a decisive one by all standards and will reflect on all parties. Therefore, the ministry calls upon leaders and peoples to interact seriously with this battle and to be at the level of the event and responsibilities.”
On Sunday, Israeli authorities installed new security cameras at the compound and placed its forces on high alert, according to the Associated Press. They noted that “alternatives” were being considered in regard to the metal detectors positioned at the entrance to the site.
Israeli reports said that barricades would be placed at the entrances of the mosque, which would allow Occupation forces to inspect suspicious worshipers with hand detectors.
For the second week, Palestinian worshipers have refused to be subjected to security inspection, and chose to pray in front of the gates and in the streets of Jerusalem.
On Friday, Israeli forces killed three Palestinians during confrontations between the police officers and protesters. In response, three Israeli settlers were killed in Halmish during a Palestinian operation.
In the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested on Sunday at least 25 Palestinians and decided to oust five Fatah leaders from Jerusalem.
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