WEST BANK (Dispatches) – The Muslim world has denounced the Zionist regime’s recent move to shut down the al-Aqsa Mosque after a deadly shooting at the holy mosque’s compound in the Old City of occupied East al-Quds.
The Friday gunfight took place just outside the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) and left three Palestinians and two Zionist police officers dead.
Following the incident, the regime’s police closed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, briefly detained Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the grand mufti of al-Quds, and cancelled Muslim Friday prayers at the site.
"We insist on reaching al-Aqsa mosque and performing prayers there. The occupation preventing us from praying marks an assault against our right to worship in this pure Islamic mosque,” Sheikh Muhammad said.
The measures taken by the Tel Aviv regime drew condemnations from the Muslim world.
The Arab League warned against the consequences of the regime’s "dangerous” closure of the al-Aqsa Mosque and ban on Friday prayers.
In a statement released on Friday, the 22-member pan-Arab organization said the move would adversely affect the so-called peace process in the region and fuel conflict, terrorism and extremism.
Additionally, Jordan, which serves as the custodian of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, urged the reopening of the site and advised Israel to "refrain from taking any step aimed at changing” the status quo of al-Quds or the mosque compound.
In a similar development, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry censured the the regime’s closure of the al-Aqsa Mosque, prevention of prayers there and declaration of the area as a closed military zone as a severe violation of the sanctity of Islamic sites and a provocation to millions of Muslims around the world.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry expressed regret over Friday’s incident, saying, "It is a humanitarian and legal obligation to respect the sanctity and historical status of the religious sites in the Israeli occupied East Jerusalem [al-Quds], especially the Haram al-Sharif.”
In the immediate aftermath Friday’s shootout, Zionist troops detained dozens of employees of the al-Quds Islamic Waqf, an Islamic religious trust that manages the current Islamic edifices on and around the Haram al-Sharif.
Firas Dibs, head of the Waqf public relations, told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency that Zionist troops had detained 58 staff of the organization, and interrogated them over the gunfight.
The occupied lands have witnessed tensions ever since Zionist troops imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound two years ago.