With a second day of skirmishes around Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem and as Israeli authorities effectively take full control of the compound, the Al-Quds Foundation South Africa has urged the local Muslim population to up awareness on the plight of Islam’s third holiest site.
Reports state that 80 settlers stormed the historic compound on Sunday under the protection of IDF forces, subsequently entering and desecrating the Al-Aqsa mosque itself. The incident, coming ahead of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, provoked clashes with local Palestinians ‘guards’ tasked with protecting the highly contentious site.
It comes amid increased tensions between Palestinians and settlers in Jerusalem, with the Zionist regime increasing efforts to enforce its alleged ‘division plan’ on the mosque and compound in question.
Sheikh Isgak Taliep, executive manager of the Al-Quds Foundation says that Israel has held full control of Al-Aqsa for some time already.
“The time regulations have already been implemented and they’ve succeeded in that particular programme. If I should add a percentage to it then I would say it is more than 90% (complete). Because of that they regulate the movements. Between fajr and thur there is no movement allowed for Muslims in Masjid al-Aqsa,” he explains.
This is all aimed at an even more disturbing physical division of Al-Aqsa, similar to what has been seen at Masjid-e-Khalil in the West Bank city of Hebron.
Taliep says the scenes of the past two days do not mark the first occasion Israeli forces have forced their way inside the mosque and caused physical damage to property. Further, he says these attacks are only set to increase as Israeli authorities up their efforts to enforce the division plan.
“The split itself is also part of a strategy. What they ultimately want is to bring about the ruin and destruction of Al-Aqsa so that they can build the Temple of Solomon on the ruins of Masjid Al-Aqsa,” he warns.
Whether this plan includes trying to wear out the resolve of both the Palestinian and global community, Taliep says there has been little waning in support for Al-Aqsa. This is particularly with those serving as the first line of defence.
“From the side of our Palestinians brothers and sisters they are continuing with that resistance. All that is asked of us is that we support them as much as we can with duas, and creating awareness,” he adds.
At 8pm on Monday, Twitter users will take to the social media site to raise awareness about the plight of Al-Aqsa. You can join in using the hashtags #alqudsindanger #AlAqsacfeekhatar. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)