Egyptian Muslims take part in evening prayers called "Tarawih" on Laylat al-Qadr or Night of Decree, at Al-Azhar Mosque in old Cairo, Egypt June 21, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The leading center for religious learning and jurisprudence among the world's Sunni Muslims, Egypt's al-Azhar, has called for urgent Muslim, Arab and international intervention to "save" al-Aksa mosque from Israel.
A statement reported on news sites in the Arab world, including the Palestinian Maan news agency, issued late Thursday by al-Azhar in Cairo said the institute was following with "deep concern the escalation of the Israeli occupation forces against blessed al-Aksa mosque." It warned against the "continuation of the violations" against it. It said these alleged violations were provoking the feelings of Muslims all over the world and threatening the stability of the entire region.
Issuing of the statement pointed up the potential for wider reverberations of the al-Aksa crisis in the Arab world. The security cabinet decided late Thursday
to leave metal detectors installed at the entrance to the Temple Mount/al-Aksa mosque compound in place to search worshipers. Palestinian religious figures have termed that a violation of the status quo at the site and an indication of Israeli designs against the mosque.
The detectors were installed after an attack
at the site last week by three Israeli Arab gunmen left two policemen dead. The gunmen were shot dead by police.
On Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan entered the fray, urging President Reuven Rivlin during a phone conversation that the metal detectors be removed.
The security cabinet also decided to restrict entry to the mosque Friday to persons fifty and over.
The al-Azhar statement accused Israeli forces of "savage" aggressions against Muslim worshipers and of injuring the former mufti of Jerusalem Ekrema Sabri and tens of Palestinians.
The statement hailed the "steadfastness" of the Palestinians and issued an urgent call to Arab, Islamic and international leaders to move immediately to "save al-Aksa from the arrogance of the Israeli occupation" and "stop its plans for the Judaization of Jerusalem and control of al-Aksa."