Israel has crossed the Muslim world by allowing growing clashes over a Jerusalem holy site to continue, Palestine and Jerusalem Mufti Sheikh Mohamed Hussein warned Wednesday. Violence between Jews and Arabs at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount is a “redline for all Muslims around the world,” he said.
“The continuous aggression on the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque is part of a series of escalations started a long time ago to reinforce the partition of the Islamic holy site,” Hussein said.
Hussein urged Muslims to fight back against “Judaization” by visiting the mosque, the Middle East Monitor reported. The mosque is Islam’s third holiest site. It is believed to be the place where the Prophet Muhammad embarked on a night journey to heaven. In Judaism, it’s known as the Temple Mount, where the two Jewish temples stood in biblical times.
Israel banned non-Muslims from visiting the holy site in June during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in an attempt to quell repeated clashes. Palestinian protesters have gathered at the site in the past to throw rocks and other objects at police and Jewish worshippers, resulting in mass arrests. Stabbings and shootings have also seen at least 200 Palestinians, 32 Israelis and two Americans killed, CBS News reported.
Under a 20-year peace deal, a Jordanian organization known as the Waqf administers the Temple Mount compound. In recent years, many Muslim leaders have urged Israel to protect the holy site from an oversized Jewish presence that could make it difficult for people of other faiths to worship there.
Israel’s “violations against worshipers” at the holy site “are a violation of international laws and conventions” that could have “dangerous consequences,” Jordan warned in a statement in April.
Saudi Arabia has also warned Israel against changing the status of Muslim or Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.