Arab League: ‘Al-Aqsa and Haram al Sharif in all its area is a sole place of worship for Muslims.’
(Al Jazeera) – The Arab League has called on Israel to end Jewish prayers inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem and warned that such actions were a flagrant affront to Muslim feelings and could trigger wider conflict.
The league broke its silence on Thursday on recent violent events at Al-Aqsa, saying Israel had restricted Muslims in their right of worship in Jerusalem’s Old City, while also allowing ultra-nationalist Jews to enter the sacred site under police protection.
“Our demands are clear that Al-Aqsa and Haram al Sharif in all its area is a sole place of worship for Muslims,” Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told reporters after an emergency meeting of the league in Amman.
The meeting was called to discuss what the league termed “illegal Israeli policies and measures” in Jerusalem.
Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Israel was violating a centuries-old policy according to which non-Muslims may visit the Al-Aqsa compound, but they must not pray there.
Israeli riot police stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque compound last week during which at least 158 Palestinians were wounded and hundreds were detained.
Safadi, who spoke with United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week, met senior US Department of State officials touring the region on Wednesday to discuss reducing tensions at the sacred site.
The foreign minister said he had received assurances that Israel would halt Jewish worshippers from entering Al-Aqsa.