World, Middle East

Islamic grouping condemns Israel for allowing Jerusalem settler march

Israeli police approve settler march to go through East Jerusalem’s Old City to demand end to Islamic status of Al-Aqsa Mosque

Rania Abu Shamala  | 07.12.2023 - Update : 07.12.2023
Islamic grouping condemns Israel for allowing Jerusalem settler march

By Rania Abu Shamala

ISTANBUL (AA) – The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has condemned Israel for allowing a provocative march by Israeli far-right extremist groups into occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

The march is “part of illegal and rejected attempts aimed at impinging on the existing historical and legal status of the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Al-Quds, especially the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the pan-Islamic grouping said in a statement.

The Jeddah-based organization warned of the danger of the Israeli Judaization plans, including the planned construction of 1,792 settler units in East Jerusalem.

“The city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, the capital of the State of Palestine, is an integral part of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967,” the OIC said, reiterating rejection of any measures aimed at imposing Israeli sovereignty over the city and its holy sites.

On Tuesday, Haaretz newspaper said the Israeli police approved the settler march, which is planned to go through the Old City's Muslim Quarter and to demand an end to the Islamic status of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Various far-right Jewish groups announced in a joint statement early this week that they would hold the march on Thursday evening, which coincides with the first day of Hanukkah, a Jewish festival that lasts eight days.

The statement also said the march would be organized to end the administration of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf Department in Al-Aqsa Mosque, and "reestablishing full Jewish sovereignty" in Jerusalem and over Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The department is a Jordanian-run body that is responsible for the administration of the Muslim holy site in occupied East Jerusalem, as stipulated in the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty signed on Oct. 26, 1994.

Extremist Jewish groups, however, have been raiding the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex accompanied by the police since 2003.

These radical groups, which call the area the Temple Mount, encourage Israelis to raid the Al-Aqsa complex to perform religious rituals, accompanied by calls to build a Jewish temple there.

Israeli forces have imposed restrictions on Muslims entering Al-Aqsa Mosque since Oct. 7, when they launched a massive military campaign against the Gaza Strip.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, a move never recognized by the international community.

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