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Monday, 14 September 2020 06:55

Israeli installation of loudspeakers in Al-Aqsa Mosque compound stokes concern

Jordan denounces the move as a ‘provocation’

Israeli police installed loudspeakers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem - a move condemned by Palestinians and the mosque's Jordanian custodians as a violation of the holy site.

The speakers, set up by the compound's western Ablution Gate are the third instance of Israeli loudspeakers installed in or around the compound since 2017.

The first were installed that year on the roof of the nearby Omariya School, close to the compound's north-western Bani Ghanim gate. The second were set up on Sunday on top of Al-Aqsa Sharia School near the north-eastern Gate of the Tribes.

With the third set of loudspeakers, Israeli authorities will be able to broadcast to the northern side of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound from the inside and outside, in parallel with the one run by the Islamic Waqf (endowment) in charge of the religious site.

The speaker system would enable Israeli forces to make announcements and instructions to those present in the mosque, including Muslim worshipers and Jewish settlers who regularly storm the compound in violation of the custodianship agreement limiting non-Muslim prayer on the site.

The Israeli move is seen by Palestinians and Muslim worshipers as the latest attempt to threaten the compound's integrity as a Muslim site of worship.

The former grand mufti of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Ekrima Sabri, said Israel seeks to impose its sovereignty over the mosque and undermine the Islamic Waqf, the Jordan-affiliated endowment historically tasked with managing the holy site.

"The occupation's measures against Al-Aqsa are invalid and illegal,” said Sabri.

“We do not recognise them. We hold the Israeli government responsible for violating the sanctity of Al-Aqsa, because it is directly responsible for any aggression and it is the one that protects the settlers storming the site, encouraging them to increase their numbers."

The Jordanian ministry also demanded an end to the violations, stressing that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is a “pure” Islamic site and that the Jordanian administration of the Jerusalem Waqf is the sole authority responsible for overseeing all its affairs.

Darul Ihsan Media Desk

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