Islamic groups urge Muslims to boycott holy site over metal detectors in Jerusalem al-Quds

A Muslim religious authority, along with other Islamic groups, has called on Muslims to boycott all the Israeli acts of aggression against the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in a gesture of protest after Tel Aviv set up metal detectors at the site’s entrance gates.

In a statement on Monday, the Waqf, together with other Islamic groups, urged Muslims “to reject and boycott all the Israeli aggression measures, including changing the historical status quo, including imposing the metal detectors.”

The  Waqf, charged with managing the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, also appealed to the faithful “not to enter the mosque through” the detectors.

“If the metal detectors continue to be imposed, we call upon the people to pray in front of the gates of the mosque and in the streets of Jerusalem (al-Quds),” the statement further said.

The development comes as Israeli forces on Sunday reopened the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which includes al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, in East Jerusalem al-Quds two days after they closed it following a deadly shooting in the area.

The Friday gunfight took place just outside the Haram al-Sharif and left three Palestinians and two Israeli police officers dead.

Muslims, however, continue to refuse to enter the site in protest at the newly-imposed security measures, including metal detectors and cameras. Dozens of worshipers held prayers outside the compound, at the entrance near the Lions’ Gate entry to the Old City.

Reports indicate that the mosque is still under Israeli control despite the reopening of some of its doors after the regime installed electronic gates at three entrances to the mosque and closed the others.

Israeli forces attacked people outside the compound on Sunday. According to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), 18 Palestinians sustained injuries. Four Palestinians were also arrested.

Israeli forces conducted inspections inside the mosque, inflicting damage on the place. They broke the locks of the drawers and safes under the pretext of inspecting the mosque.

The Muslim world has denounced Israel’s recent move to shut down al-Aqsa Mosque.

Under the status quo, established after Israel captured the site in 1967, the site is managed by the Waqf, an Islamic foundation under the auspices of Jordan.

Meanwhile, a Jordanian government official on Monday said that Israel had not coordinated the changes with Jordan, which serves as the custodian of the Muslim-administered site.

The official added that Jordan’s stance is that anything installed at the site must be approved by the Waqf.

The Israeli regime cannot change the status quo, the official noted.

Israeli regime guards stand near the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the old city of Jerusalem al-Quds, on July 17, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Amman earlier called for the immediate reopening of the site and there were protests in the streets there against Israel.

The occupied lands have witnessed tensions ever since Israeli forces imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound two years ago.

The Tel Aviv regime has been trying to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem al-Quds by constructing settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.

More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since October 2015, when the tensions intensified.

Tel Aviv has come under fire for using violence against Palestinians and adopting a policy of shoot-to-kill.

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