Officials in Muslim countries including Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia have joined Palestine in their denouncement of a recent court ruling decriminalizing Jewish prayer at the al-Aqsa masjid.
It came in response to a ruling in favour of Rabbi Aryeh Lippo, who legally contested a two week ban imposed by police regarding his visits to the masjid. Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court Justice Bilha Yahalom said it could not be a “criminal act” if the prayers remained silent, as it would not violate police instructions.
The Waqf Islamic affairs council however deemed it a ‘provocation’, given a long standing agreement that only Muslims worship at Al-Aqsa, with it being Islam’s third holiest site, while Jews worship at the nearby Western Wall. The Temple Movement welcomed decision as the first official ruling that states Jews have full right to pray at Masjid al-Aqsa.
The Hamas movement however deemed it a “clear declaration of war” and a “blatant aggression against the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque”. Israel’s Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev is also quoted warning that a shift in the status quo would “endanger the public peace”.