The Higher Islamic Committee and the Islamic Waqf Department in occupied Jerusalem, issued a statement commemorating the 43rd anniversary of burning the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem by an Australian fundamentalist, and said that the Mosque and all holy sites in Palestine are still facing ongoing and escalating threats by Israeli extremists and fundamentalists.The Al-Aqsa Mosque was burnt on August 21, 1969, by Australian extremist, Michael Rohan, who set the mosque ablaze and the fires totally consumed the historic Salah Ed-Deen Bench, and the southeastern roof of the mosque. 1500 square/meters of the total 4400 square/meters of the mosque were burnt.

The Committee and the Waqf department said that the assaults are ongoing and escalating as extremist groups continue to break into the mosque while Israel continues its excavations under the mosque shaking its foundations.

They further stated that several officials of the settler-led government of Benjamin Netanyahu are encouraging Israeli extremists to continue their attacks and violations against the mosque by allowing them to break into the mosque and march in its yards.

The statement said that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is a Muslim holy site that belongs to the 1.5 Billion Muslims around the world, and that “Israel has no right in the mosque”.

It also denounced the illegal and ongoing Israeli excavations under the mosque and the repeated invasions carried out by extremist groups, and demanded the UNESCO to intervene and stop the illegal Israeli violations.

“The Al-Aqsa mosque is higher than governments, negotiations and decisions, no one has the right to neglect and give away the Muslims right in the mosque”, the statement reads, “All governments in the Arab and Islamic world, and the Jerusalem Committee, must act and protect the mosque before it is too late”.
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The Al-Aqsa mosque is the third most sacred mosque in the world, the first most sacred site for Muslims is Masjid al-Haram in Makkah, and the second is Masjid Nabawi in Medina.