Gaza: Hamas leader Khaled Mashal on Wednesday called for the internationalisation of the Al-Aqsa mosque issue in order to raise awareness among key decision-makers about Israeli attacks on the mosque, local media reported.
Speaking to the media during his participation in a political workshop, Mashal said, that the resistance fronts should be opened in all their natural and supposed locations, in order to distract the occupation from the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque, and this is the greatest protection for Al-Aqsa mosque.
“We can put the issue of Al-Aqsa mosque on top of the international agenda if we place it at the forefront of the Palestinian resistance, the agenda of the Palestinian people and the agenda of the governments of Muslim nations,” Middle East Monitor quoted reporting Khaled Mashal.
He added, “Israel does not feel shy about promoting a religious war. Why should we feel shy about declaring that Al Aqsa mosque as the focus of our struggle with the Israeli occupation?”
Mashal believed that Israel is taking advantage of the weakness of the Palestinian leadership’s position and the nation’s preoccupation with its wounds, to control the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque.
Khaled Mashal condemned the Zionists’ attack on the Palestinian public: living and dead. It was a reference to Israel’s destruction of the Yusufiya cemetery next to the Noble Sanctuary of Al Aqsa. He said, “They fear the death of the Palestinians.” What about the living Palestinians?
Al-Aqsa is located on a plaza at Temple mount, which is known in Islam as the Haram-e-Sharif. The mount is also considered the holiest site in Judaism. The most imposing structure on the compound is the Dome of the Rock, with its golden dome. The Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall to the Jews, is one side of the retaining wall of the Al-Aqsa compound.
Al-Aqsa is the focus of rival claims on Jerusalem. Both Israel and Palestine have declared it their capital. In July 1980, the Israeli parliament approved the Jerusalem law and declared it the capital of the state. The 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence also declared Jerusalem the capital. The Palestinian Authority is currently headquartered in Ramallah.
Shortly after the end of the six-day war in 1967, Israel returned to Jordan the administration and organization of the Al-Aqsa compound. While non-Muslims were not allowed to worship at Al-Aqsa, Jewish individuals and groups made repeated attempts to enter the Temple mount plaza.
Since the late 1990s, around the time of the first Intifada, these attempts began to occur regularly as Jewish settlers began to claim land in and around East Jerusalem. And this led to frequent clashes and tensions in Al-Aqsa.