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PA officials call on Palestinians to “defend” the Al-Aqsa Mosque and holy sites from Israel

Headline: “Occupied Jerusalem: The occupation locked the Gate of Mercy, attacked the protesting civilians, and arrested seven of them”

“The occupation forces arrested seven civilians, including a female resident of Jerusalem, during their attempts to shatter the iron chains that the occupation policemen placed on the Gate of Mercy inside the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque (sic., Israel closed a compound near the Gate of Mercy after the Jordanian Waqf reopened it in violation of a court order; see note below)…

Jerusalem District Governor Adnan Ghaith said: ‘We have warned the occupation time after time that the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque belongs to the Muslims only, and that the steps of escalation against the Al-Aqsa Mosque harm the sensibilities of the people of Jerusalem.’ The district governor held the occupation government [responsible for] the consequences of what it is carrying out against the holy sites and against the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, which constitutes a provocation against the sensibilities of all of the Muslims. He said that the occupation government wants to ignite a religious war, and therefore it must bear the consequences of what the Israeli establishment is carrying out…

Supreme Shari’ah Judge of Palestine and [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas’] advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash condemned the occupation’s criminal steps at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and its gates…

Al-Habbash said in a press statement that the attack that the occupation state committed against the Gate of Mercy is a war against Islam, and that the State of Israel is playing with fire because it is deluded that the Palestinian people, with all of its religious and social elements, could submit to any step by the occupation at the Jerusalem Noble Sanctuary (i.e., the Temple Mount). He emphasized that our people will defend the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque with what is most precious of all to it, and no one will ever have sovereignty over it except the Palestinian people. These steps will never pass and we will not accept them, regardless of the price…

He added that the occupation government did not learn the lesson from our people’s uprising against the metal detectors last year (sic., 2017, refers to riots against security measures initiated after a lethal terror attack on the Temple Mount; see note below), and said: ‘Forcing the worshippers and those carrying out Ribat (i.e., religious conflict/war over land claimed to be Islamic) to leave the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque plazas is liable to ignite an uncontrollable popular uprising, and then the occupation state will learn that if they approach our mosque and our Al-Aqsa, we put all considerations behind us’…

[PA] Minister of Religious Affairs Sheikh Yusuf Ida’is strongly condemned the closure of most of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque gates and the attack against the worshippers and those carrying out Ribat, following the locking of the Gate of Mercy with chains…

He again emphasized his call to the Arabs and Muslims to act to save Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and [Jerusalem’s] Islamic and Christian holy sites. He said: ‘We have warned and still warn against the true dangers surrounding the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem, which obligate the Arab and Muslim peoples and governments to place the cause of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the top of their list of priorities in order to defend it from these dangers.’

Ida’is praised the resolve of the members of the Palestinian people regarding their holy sites, their cause, and their leadership, and called for additional preparedness and Ribat at the Al-Aqsa Mosque so as not to allow any opportunity to the enemies of peace.”

February 2019 Temple Mount clashes – Muslim riots broke out on the Temple Mount starting Feb. 18, 2019, after the Israeli police closed a compound near the Gate of Mercy after the Jordanian Waqf had violated an Israeli court order by reopening the compound the previous week. The compound was ordered sealed in 2017 given that it was managed by the banned Islamic Movement in Israel and used for illegal construction and antiquities destruction.  

The mention of "our people’s uprising against the metal detectors" refers to Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount, including metal detectors at the entrances, following an attack there on July 14, 2017, in which 2 Israeli border police officers were murdered by 3 Israeli Arab terrorists. On July 24, 2017, Israel decided to remove the metal detectors and security cameras it had placed at the site. The PA continued to demand that all measures including inspections at the entrances be removed, and Palestinians continued to riot. On July 27, 2017, PA religious leaders declared that all Israeli measures had been removed.

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