World, Middle East

Muslim scholars call for 'day of anger' over Al-Aqsa

International Union of Muslim Scholars calls for protests against Israeli measures restricting access to Al-Aqsa

Ali Abo Rezeg   | 20.07.2017
Muslim scholars call for 'day of anger' over Al-Aqsa FILE PHOTO - Al-Aqsa Mosque

DOHA

The Doha-based International Union of Muslim scholars (IUMS) called Thursday on all Muslims to show solidarity with those affected by Israeli measures restricting access to Al-Aqsa Mosque. 

Israeli authorities closed down the Al-Aqsa compound and canceled the weekly Friday prayers for the first time in nearly five decades, following a shootout last week that left three Palestinians and two Israeli policemen dead near the flashpoint holy site in East Jerusalem.

“We call on all Muslims to make this Friday a day of anger against the Zionist actions in Jerusalem and the people residing there,” said in a statement issued by the IUMS.

IUMS also called for the staging of “peaceful demonstrations” in various locations around the world to show “rejection for the Israeli procedures”.

"We condemn the authorities of Zionist occupation that have done a criminal act there by shutting Al-Aqsa Mosque preventing prayers in it," the IUMS statement added.

On Wednesday, Israeli soldiers wounded nine Palestinians and arrested four others during protests against the closure.

Protests began on Sunday after the mosque's leadership called on worshipers to boycott new metal detectors installed at the mosque's entrances.

Israel has defended the move, claiming they were no different from security measures at other holy sites around the world.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming all of Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s "eternal" capital -- a move never recognized by the international community.

Sacred to Muslims, Jews, and Christians, Jerusalem is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which for Muslims represents the world's third holiest site.

Reporting by Ahmed al-Masri; Writing by Ali Abo Rezeg

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