Palestinians denounce "Israeli raids" into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-11 21:59:26|Editor: huaxia
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RAMALLAH, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Palestinians on Sunday denounced "raids by Israeli settlers" into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem on the first day of Eid al-Adha which led to clashes between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli police.

Preacher of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound Ikrima Sabri told Xinhua in a telephone interview that the Israeli police "stormed into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and tried to evict worshippers out of it by force."

Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordanian body that administrates the site, said over 100,000 performs Eid al-Adha prayer in the vicinity of the holy mosque.

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee, held Israel responsible for "fuelling religious tensions in Jerusalem."

"We condemn this aggression, which is reprehensible and dangerous," and hold Israel "fully responsible for the grave consequences," Ashrawi said in a statement.

The Palestinian government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem accused the Israeli police of "assaulting religious clerics, mosque Imams and worshippers," saying "it is a flagrant violation of international law."

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known to the Jewish people as the Temple Mount, is sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

This year, the Islamic festival coincides with the Jewish holiday of Tisha B'Av, which sees an increased number of Israeli visitors to the holy site in Jerusalem.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is one of the most volatile sites in the region.

Under a long-held status quo, Israeli Jews are allowed to visit the site but not to pray there.

In recent years, ultra-nationalist Israeli Jews have been challenging the status quo, demanding the government increase the numbers of Jewish visitors to the site and allow prayers.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future independent state, while Israel wants all Jerusalem to be its eternal capital.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem in the 1967 war and declared the entire city as its eternal indivisible capital in 1980, a move that has never been recognized by most of the international community.