Palestinians fear that allowing Jews to offer “silent prayers” at the al-Aqsa Mosque complex in the occupied city of East Jerusalem will become a sham to divide Muslims and Jews “in time and place”.
In an unprecedented conclusion, Israeli judicial officials have ruled that the silent prayers of Jews at the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex are not a “crime.”
Judge Bilhah Yahlom of the Israeli Magistrates’ Court in Jerusalem allowed the Jews to pray quietly inside the compound.
Similarly, Yahalom ordered the police to withdraw the entry control order imposed on Rabbi Rye Lebo for praying quietly on the premises. “His daily visits to the Temple Mount indicate how important he was,” Jahlom argued in the sentence.
This is the first time an Israeli court has recognized the prayers of Jews in a sanctuary within the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Israeli court’s controversial decision has caused unrest among Palestinians and Muslims.
A temporary and spatial section of the complex aims to transform the compound into a common place of worship for Muslims and Jews, which Muslims vehemently reject.
Extremist Jewish groups should allocate “religions” and “places” so that they can carry out their religious rites on campus.
Palestinians warn that Israel is working to gradually achieve this division. These efforts reportedly allowed Jewish immigrants to enter the premises in the morning and afternoon in 2003.
The head of the Supreme Islamic Commission in Jerusalem and Imam Egrima Syed Sabri of the Al-Aqsa Mosque also condemned the Israeli court decision.
“The decision is invalid. The court has no right to interfere in the affairs of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It is a lie based on lies,” Sabri told the Anatolian Agency.
“The court of occupation has no jurisdiction and is not qualified in matters related to the al-Aqsa Mosque,” Sabri added.
“This wrong decision is a precursor to the temporary and spatial division of the mosque,” Sabari continued, calling the Israeli administration’s plan to divide the campus a “criminal plan.”
In this sense, Sabri warned the Israeli government that “any damage to the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque” and that the Arab and Islamic countries should be held accountable for any damage that the mosque could cause, “because it is the responsibility of all Muslims”.
Omar al-Kiswani, the director of al-Aqsa Mosque, expressed concern about the consequences of the decision. “We are actively pursuing this decision and its consequences. For now, let us pray: what comes next? The ambitions of the aggressor and extremist (Jews) are high.”
Kiswani considered the decision to violate the faith of Muslims in all parts of the world and to ignore their sentiments.
The director called on Arab and Islamic countries to confront the decision and recalled that Jewish immigrants who entered the courtyard of the campus last Thursday rushed to implement the decision.
According to the Palestinians, these incursions, prayers in the courtyard of the mosque or the division of it into time and place do nothing but violate the historical status of the mosque, the situation during the Ottoman rule, British rule and the rule of Jordan. Until the start of the Israeli occupation in 1967.
In this case, the prayer in the mosque is restricted to Muslims only, while non-Muslims can visit it as tourists.
The Israeli government has reaffirmed its commitment to the status quo, but says the Palestinians are violating it and not respecting it.
Daniel Seidman, an Israeli left-wing lawyer and activist, agrees with the Palestinians. “There are various interpretations of what the current situation of al-Aqsa is, but everyone understands that Muslims (in it) pray and non-Muslims (just) visit it.”
“The situation has deteriorated in recent years. The Jews are praying to her and the Israeli police, who have respected that position in the past, are (now) blind,” Seidman added.
The lawyer described the court’s decision as “too dangerous to further erode the current situation”. “The current situation needs to be restored; otherwise there will be blood,” Seatman added.