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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Egyptian President El-Sisi condemns "violations" at Jerusalem Al-Aqsa Mosque

Clashes at Jerusalem Al-Aqsa Mosque
(Image: Daily Star)
AFP, CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday urged Israel to take swift measures to calm tensions around Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque after clashes this week between Israeli security forces and Palestinians.

“It is without doubt a dangerous violation of Islamic holy places,” Sisi said at a press conference with EU president Donald Tusk, urging Israel to take “immediate and effective steps” to defuse tensions.

“The international community must realize the attachment of all Muslims to this place,” he said, warning that the unrest could have “grave consequences for peace and stability”.

The mosque, located at the site of what Jews venerate as the Temple Mount, is in east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.

The mosque compound is the third-holiest site in Islam and the most sacred site in Judaism.

Under longstanding regulations, Jews are allowed to visit but cannot pray there to avoid provoking tensions.

Palestinians fear Israel will seek to change rules governing the site, with far-right Jewish groups pushing for more access and even efforts by fringe organizations to erect a new temple.

Egypt shares a long border with Israel, and in 1979 became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with it after four wars with the Jewish state.