The Arab League has called on Israel to stop praying for Jews inside the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Muslim-occupied East Jerusalem. At the same time, the Arab League warns that such actions are a clear insult to Muslim sentiment and could lead to widespread conflict.
Qatar-based Al Jazeera reported this information in a report on Thursday (April 21). Tensions have recently risen between Palestine and Israel over the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque. Violence has also erupted as Israeli security forces raided the holy mosque several times.
Clashes erupted again on Sunday after Israeli police entered the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem. 20 people were injured. Israeli police raided the area after Fajr prayers on Sunday, local time. That’s when the clashes with the Palestinians took place.
Earlier on Friday, more than 150 Palestinians were injured in an Israeli police raid on the Al Aqsa Mosque compound. Israel also detained about 300 Palestinians. Large numbers of Palestinians have been gathering in mosques every day since Friday, and tensions are running high over Israeli activity there.
Despite tensions surrounding the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque for almost a week, the Arab League, an alliance of Arab countries, has remained silent for so long. However, the group broke its silence on Thursday over Israeli actions and recent violence.
The Arab League says Israel is undermining Muslims’ right to worship in the old city of Jerusalem. The country is also providing access to the holy site to extremist Jews through police security.
The Arab League held an emergency meeting in the Jordanian capital Amman on Thursday to discuss the situation in Palestine and Al Aqsa. The meeting discussed Israel’s illegal policies and actions in Jerusalem.
After the meeting, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told reporters, “Our demand is clear that the whole area of Al Aqsa and Haram Al Sharif is the only place of worship for Muslims.”
Meanwhile, Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit said Israel was violating a centuries-old policy. According to the old policy, non-Muslims can go to the Al-Aqsa compound, but they (non-Muslims) cannot pray there.
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi spoke with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken this week. He also met with senior US State Department officials visiting the area last Wednesday to discuss ways to reduce tensions at the shrine.
Ayman Safadi said Israel had assured him that Jewish worshipers would be barred from entering al-Aqsa.
It should be noted that Al-Aqsa Mosque is a historically important holy place for both Muslims and Jews. The holy Al Aqsa Mosque is the third most important religious site for Muslims. And the mosque premises are known to Muslims as Haram-al-Sharif.
However, the Jews also claim it as their own. And that is what the conflict between Israel, Palestine and the Muslim world has been about for centuries. Jews call Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings the ‘Temple Mount’ and for them it is the holiest place in the world.