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Visiting Al-Aqsa 'impermissible' through normalisation, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem declares Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Visiting Al-Aqsa 'impermissible' through normalisation, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem declares

Jerusalem is a holy city for the three major world religions [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 August, 2020

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Those who try to enter al-Aqsa Mosque via the means of normalisation will not be allowed, says the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.
Emiratis and other Arabs will not be allowed to visit al-Aqsa Mosque if they try to enter through means of normalisation, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem confirmed.

Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein deplored the normalisation pact between Israel and the UAE as a departure from the Arab and Islamic consensus. "It is not permissible to visit Al-Aqsa through normalisation processes or agreements," he asserted.

"When the Palestinian defends Jerusalem and its sanctities dignity of the nation, the Palestinian is defending the Arab and Islamic nation,” Hussein urged.

“Therefore, the Arab and Muslim nation must pay attention to such normalisation matters and reject any deviation from the Arab and Islamic consensus, with regard to the Palestinian issue in general, and Jerusalem and its sanctities in particular."

Read also: UAE-Israeli alliance – Quid pro quo for Trump’s re-election campaign

He maintained the ban is not an infringement on any Muslim’s freedom of religion, saying: “We did not say that prayer is forbidden at Al-Aqsa, whoever enters prays, but we say: it is not permissible under any circumstances for any Muslim to come through normalisation processes to visit al-Aqsa Mosque."

The Middle East felt shockwaves, after Trump announced on Thursday that the UAE had normalised ties with Israel, only the third between the Jewish state and an Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan.

Palestinians of all political leanings – from the secular Fatah of Mahmoud Abbas to the Hamas Islamist – have been unanimous in their condemnation of the deal, viewing the UAE as sacrificing the Palestinian cause to gain commercial relations with Israel.

While the agreement supposedly delays Israel's plans to unilaterally annex large swathes of the West Bank and Jordan Valley, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly urged that annexation will only be delayed.

Regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia has been conspicuously silent on the deal with no official reaction emerging from Riyadh.


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