The Israeli occupation authorities declared that Friday’s Muslim prayer will not be held at the third holiest site in Islam—al-Aqsa Mosque—after two Israeli soldiers were fatally gunned down in an anti-occupation shooting attack.
According to local sources, the Israeli police forces shut the gates of al-Aqsa Mosque and prevented worshipers from entering the site.
The Israeli policemen also sealed off the main entrances to the Old City.
The ban is the first issued since 1969, in a flagrant violation of Muslims’ freedom of worship.
At the same time, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued instructions to ban Friday prayer at al-Aqsa and to completely close the site before worshipers.
Reporting from the scene, a PIC news correspondent said the Israeli policemen have come down heavily on al-Aqsa’s supervision staff and subjected them to aggressive beating.
The Israeli policemen prevented Jerusalem’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, and the head of the Islamic Awqaf (Endowment) Council, along with the director of Jerusalem’s Awqaf Department, from entering the site.
The Grand Mufti called for intensifying presence around al-Aqsa and at nearby Israeli checkpoints so as to hold the Friday prayer at the holy site in defiance of the Israeli ban.
Israeli fanatic groups also incited for escalated aggression on al-Aqsa Mosque and crackdowns against the Muslim congregation.
Three Palestinian young men were killed on Friday morning in a shootout with Israeli police officers at the Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Jerusalem. Two Israeli police officers were pronounced dead.
(Source / 14.07.2017)