On Tuesday, as Muslims worldwide commenced the annual holy month of Ramadan with prayers and fasting, Israeli forces blocked access to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, a holy site revered by Muslims, and attacked worshipers as they attempted to enter.
10,000 fully-vaccinated Palestinians attempted to perform their prayers at al-Aqsa on the first day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Israeli authorities also seized meals that had been prepared for the breaking of the fast at dusk. Muslims celebrate Ramadan by fasting from sunup to sundown each day for a month, and breaking the fast with prayer and a meal known as iftar.
In addition, Israeli forces cut the wires to loudspeakers that had been set up outside the mosque to call worshipers to prayer and to celebrate the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.
According to Israeli media sources, Israeli police pushed and harassed Palestinian Muslim worshipers, and some youth began throwing stones at the police.
The clashes came after the cutting of the loudspeaker wires, and the seizure of the meals that were being distributed by volunteers in the Bab al-Asbat area near the Aqsa Mosque. Israeli forces also removed the door of Bab al-Asbat minaret, stormed the roof of the minaret and ransacked it.
The Palestinian Foreign minister Riyad Malki called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to take steps to protect Palestinian Muslim worshipers from these continued and ongoing assaults on their freedom to worship at the al-Aqsa mosque.
According to the Palestinian Wafa News Agency, the foreign minister condemned the attacks against Al-Aqsa, especially during the holy month of Ramadan.
Malki stressed that Palestine will continue to coordinate its efforts with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and through its Secretary-General, and with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, to confront such Israeli incursions against the al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Palestinian President also condemned the deactivation of the loudspeakers of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque on the first day of Ramadan.
Presidency Spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said shutting down the loudspeakers during the Taraweeh and Isha prayers was a racist hate crime, a “racist attack on the sanctity of the holy places and the freedom of worship” as well as a “gross violation of the international human rights conventions” committed by Israeli police.
He cautioned about the consequences of “this Israeli aggressive policy which threatens to transform the conflict into endless religious war that would undermine international peace and security” and held the Israeli occupation authorities fully responsible for such consequences.
He called upon the international community to take serious action in order to rein in the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Islamic and Christian holy places in Jerusalem.
In addition, the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates today condemned the ongoing Israeli violations in Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, the latest of which was yesterday’s occupation police breaking into the Islamic Museum and going on the roof to cut the wires to the external loudspeakers of the Mosque in the western side, as well as harassing Waqf staff who are Jordanian government employees.
Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine and the preacher of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, appealed to the Arab and Islamic countries to intervene and check the Israeli violations against the Mosque.