The Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawqi Allam strongly condemned Sunday the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the assault on several worshippers by Israeli security forces.
In his statement, Allam also condemned, Israeli security forces’ preventing of worshipers from entering the mosque.
Allam described the actions as “extremist practices”, adding they are amount to “terrorism”. He also said that they prove the “intentionality” of Israel in provoking Arabs and Muslims.
Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, has been repeatedly stormed over the past week.
Allam called on the international community to intervene to end these “Israeli provocations”, which increase daily.
State Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that people belonging to a settler group called, “Students for the Temple Mount”, stormed the mosque Sunday. WAFA claimed the incident was carried out under “heavy and tight guarding by special Israeli police forces”.
The Mufti’s condemnation comes days after a similar condemnation by Egypt’s foreign ministry of an earlier attack and closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the burning of another mosque in Nablus at the hands of settlers.
On 14 October, the foreign ministry called the actions “criminal”, adding Israeli authorities must “hold accountable those involved” in the ongoing aggressions.
On Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was cited by WAFA as saying, “we are required to be stationed in Al-Aqsa”.
“It is not enough to say that the settlers came in. We have to stop them from entering the sanctuary [mosque] using any manner,” Abbas added.
On Thursday, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reiterated his “strong concern about provocations at Jerusalem’s holy sites, which only inflame tensions at a time when the parties need to find their way back to the negotiating table”.
Ban had expressed deep concerns at the “repeated provocations” in Jerusalem, last week.
According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 2013 saw 399 incidents of Israeli settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.