Egypt MPs demand Mufti quit over Jerusalem trip
April 22, 2012 19:54
CAIRO - Egypt's Islamist-dominated parliament on Sunday called on the Mufti to quit after a visit to Jerusalem, stepping up pressure on the state-appointed official over a trip that critics say bestowed recognition of Israeli control of the city.
Mufti Ali Gomaa's trip to east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, has caused a stir in Egypt and across the Arab region, where he has been criticized for a visit that has revived debate about normalization with Israel.
Gomaa has defended himself, saying his trip was in a personal rather than official capacity and a response to an invitation from Jordan, which lost the city to Israel in 1967 but remains the custodian of its Muslim holy sites. He prayed at the al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.