Palestinian religious leaders challenge Jewish presence atop Temple Mount

Palestinian religious leaders – both Muslims and Christians – signed a declaration stating that Jews have no right to enter the Temple Mount at a press conference in east Jerusalem on Wednesday.

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August 6, 2015 00:36
1 minute read.
Border Police officers patrol Temple Mount area

Border Police officers patrol Temple Mount. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Palestinian religious leaders – both Muslims and Christians – signed a declaration stating that Jews have no right to enter the Temple Mount at a press conference in east Jerusalem on Wednesday.

The declaration, titled “the Blessed Aksa Mosque Document” and signed by scores of religious figures, expressed their objections to Israeli and Jordanian understandings that allow Jews to visit the Temple Mount and to claims that the two countries had agreed to jointly supervise archeological excavations at the holy site.

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The declaration was initiated by the Islamic Supreme Commission, which is headed by former Jerusalem mufti Sheikh Ekrima Sabri.

The Israeli presence in Jerusalem, the sheikh emphasized, was an “illegal occupation,” and added that Israel has no sovereignty over the Aksa Mosque.

Sabri told journalists at the press conference that the Aksa Mosque, as well as all the area surrounding it and above and beneath it, was “purely and exclusively sacred to Muslims.”

Neither Jews nor any other party had any right to the site, “not even one grain of soil,” he said, adding that entering the site is considered an incursion of Palestinian Muslim rights.

“This would be a grave assault and desecration against the Aksa Mosque,” he added.

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Speakers at the press conference warned Israel against pursuing its policy of allowing Jews to visit the Temple Mount and called on the Arab and Muslim countries to intervene to stop the “desecration” of the holy site.

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