SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called on all Palestinians to use “all means” necessary to protect the al-Aqsa Mosque from Israeli settlers.
Abbas made the remarks while speaking at the West Bank town of al-Bira on Friday.
Palestinians “must be present at the al-Aqsa Mosque,” he said, adding, “We must stop them (the Israeli settlers) from entering by any means possible. This is our mosque and they have no right to enter it and defile it.”
He went on to say that East al-Quds (Jerusalem) is the capital of the future independent Palestinian state and that its heritage should be protected.
His remarks came after clashes broke out between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces in the city of al-Khalil (Hebron) after Israel limited Muslim worshippers’ access to the mosque.
On Thursday, Khaled Meshaal, the political bureau chief of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, warned that Israel is taking advantage of the current crisis in the Middle East to exert its control over the al-Aqsa Mosque.
The al-Aqsa compound, which lies in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds, is a flashpoint holy site in Islam. The location of the compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is the holiest site in Judaism. The mosque is Islam’s third-holiest site after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina.