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Somali Islamic scholars condemn Israel over al-Aqsa mosque stand-off

Storyline:National News
Israeli security forces man entrance to al-Aqsa mosque as stand-off with Palestinians continue. Photo: Anadolu Agency

Islamic scholars in Somalia have added their voice to condemnation of Israeli’s move to restrict Palestinians from accessing the al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem.

In a joint statement Sunday, the Islamic Scholars Union chairperson Sheikh Yusuf Aynte and Sheikh Mohamed Somow said the developments in the al-Aqsa mosque which is Islam’s third holiest site amount to violation of human rights and freedom of worship.

The scholars appealed to the Islamic organizations among them World Islamic League and Arab League to hold emergency meeting regarding the problems in al-Aqsa mosque while expressing their solidarity with ‘our Palestinian brothers who are forbearing the violations until they secure their rights.”

“We appeal to the Islamic governments to end their difference in order to fulfill their duty to find a solution for Muslim issues especially Palestinian cause,” the leaders said.

Israel tightened its grip on the compound on July 14 after two Israeli security officers were killed in an alleged attack by three Palestinians, who were themselves killed by Israeli police following the violence. The Jewish state installed security cameras at the entrance of the Mosque Sunday as it sought to maintain its authority over the worship site which has been a flash point between Israel and Palestine for several years.

At least six people have been killed in the last few days as tension rises. UN secretary General Antonio Guterres urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to refrain from actions that could further escalate the volatile situation in Jerusalem’s Old City, saying that religious sites should be spaces for reflection, not violence.

In their statement Sunday, the Somali scholars also appealed to the international community to intervene and ‘help the Palestinian people secure their rights.

Tension between the two sides in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City started after Israel shut down al-Qsa Mosque compound for the first time since 1969, after a deadly gun battle between Palestinian citizens of Israel and Israeli forces.