Egypt’s Al-Azhar, the highest seat of Sunni Muslim learning, on Friday strongly condemned an “Israeli” court’s decision in favor of Jews praying at the Al-Aqsa complex.
“The decision of the Zionist judiciary regarding the right of Jews to pray in Al-Aqsa Mosque is a flagrant violation of international conventions and human norms, and a clear provocation to the feelings of Muslims around the world,” Al-Azhar said in a statement.
The statement stated that “Al-Azhar condemns in the strongest terms the decision of the judiciary of the Zionist entity, which grants the Zionists the right to pray in the courtyards of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
It called on the international community to "take all measures against the Zionist entity's violations of Palestinian places of worship and Al-Aqsa Mosque and to support the oppressed Palestinian people and their legitimate struggle towards restoring their usurped rights and their abused land."
Al-Azhar said that "Zionist attempts to Judaize Jerusalem, including Al-Aqsa Mosque, are doomed to failure … Al-Aqsa will remain a purely Islamic sanctuary, and Jerusalem will remain Arab, and the occupation will cease to exist," according to the statement.
In a landmark ruling on Wednesday, an Israeli judge said that "silent" prayer by Jewish worshippers at the Al-Aqsa complex in occupied East Jerusalem was not a “criminal act.”
The decision, which came on an appeal by Rabbi Aryeh Lippo against a ban on his visits to the flashpoint site, has also been vehemently denounced by Palestinians.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, a move never recognized by the international community./agencies