Alwaght-Muslims in Palestine have refused to enter reopened al-Aqsa Mosque protesting newly imposed Israeli security measures, including metal detectors and cameras.
The flashpoint compound, which includes the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock (Qubbat as-Sakhrah) in occupied al-Quds (Jerusalem), was reopened on midday Sunday after the Israeli regime closed it on Friday.
The Israeli regime closed the site shortly after an anti-occupation attack launched by Palestinians left two Israeli regime troops dead. During the incident, Israeli regime troops killed three Palestinians. In the aftermath of the shootout, Israeli regime closed the mosque and installed metal detectors and additional cameras while banning Muslims from holding Friday prayers. This closure, for the first time since 1969, ignited anger across the Muslim world with the Arab League calling it a dangerous move. Other Muslim countries also slammed the closure as a violation of the basic rights of Palestinians.
Iran censured the Israeli regime’s recent move to shut down al-Aqsa Mosque and cancel Friday prayers at the holy site, warning against the “dangerous repercussions” of such measures.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Saturday said the Israeli regime’s move runs counter to “fundamental principles of human rights and humanitarian law.”
In addition to all crimes and acts of aggression against and violations of the Palestinians’ basic rights, the Israeli regime has “targeted the religious freedom and rights of the Palestinian Muslims with a new alarming precedent, which will lead to dangerous consequences,” he added.
Muslim religious authorities, who administer the al Aqsa Mosque compound, refused to pray there on Sunday after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors and additional close-circuit television cameras.
"The closure of al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the occupation in itself and the prevention of the call for prayers are all unfair and unjust and constitute a violation to the United Nations resolutions and the international agreements," Omar Kiswani, director of al-Aqsa mosque, told reporters outside the site.
"We hold the Israeli government responsible for the changes they have made in the al-Aqsa Mosque and taking its control away from us. We will stay outside the mosque until we get back the way it was taken from us."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the additional security measures on Saturday, saying they gave Israel "almost complete control over what goes on" in the compound, to prevent future attacks.