Saudi Arabia warned of a further escalation in the Mideast situation with regional and global repercussions if Israel continues with measures to alter the status of Al-Quds and Haram Al-Sharif.
Israeli authorities angered Muslims all over the world by installing metal detectors at the entrance to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. They replaced the metal detectors on Monday after international condemnation and Palestinian protests, but replaced these with CCTV cameras, metal railings and an iron bridge.
Addressing the UN Security Council on Tuesday, the Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Abdullah Al-Moallimi said that Saudi Arabia reiterates its rejection of all attempts to impose unilateral control and actions aimed at harming Al-Quds and Haram Al-Sharif.
The way to peace
He stressed that the only way to peace is to return to the Arab peace initiative and to put in place an effective international mechanism to ensure that the Palestinian people have all their inalienable rights in accordance with a specific time frame and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds as its capital with June 4, 1967, borders.
A senior Muslim official in occupied Jerusalem said Wednesday that worshippers would not return to Al-Aqsa Mosque until Israel removes the new railings and cameras.
Ikrema Sabri, the head of the Supreme Islamic Committee, said that even after Israel removed metal detectors at the site more steps were required. He said mass prayer protests would continue until the gates of the compound were opened, metal railings and an iron bridge removed and newly installed cameras taken down.
He said a lawyer working on behalf of the Muslim administration of the holy site will be in touch with Israeli police to make the demands. “We will not enter the mosque until these things are implemented,” he told The Associated Press.”
The demand sets off the prospect of a renewed showdown ahead of Friday prayers at the site, when a large number of worshipers arrive for the centerpiece of the Muslim prayer week.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on July 27, 2017.