World, Middle East

Islamic authority decries Jewish ‘rituals’ at Al-Aqsa

Jerusalem’s Muslim Endowments Authority blasts increasingly frequent visits to Al-Aqsa by Jewish extremists

Islamic authority decries Jewish ‘rituals’ at Al-Aqsa

By Abdel-Raouf Arnaout


Jerusalem’s Authority for Islamic Endowments on Tuesday condemned increasingly frequent visits to the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli settlers who often perform religious rituals at the site.

Almost daily visits to Al-Aqsa by Jewish settlers, the authority said in a statement, constituted "violations of the sanctity" of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is regarded by Muslims as the world’s third holiest site.

According to the authority, settlers frequently perform "religious rituals" in the mosque complex, praying and conducting marriages and coming-of age ceremonies.

Such rituals generally enjoy the protection of Israeli police, the authority noted.

"We consider these escalations by Jewish extremists… a threat to the historical status quo at the mosque," read the statement.

In recent years, extremist Jewish settlers -- usually accompanied by Israeli police -- have forced their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex with increasing frequency and in increasing numbers.

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