On June 12, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh warned the Israeli occupation against submitting any proposal to divide the Al-Aqsa mosque compound on a religious basis, saying that any such move will lead to “overwhelming anger with unpredictable results” given its religious sanctity for Palestinians, other Arabs, and Muslims in general.
The proposed division of Al-Aqsa would be a serious violation of the 1967 “status quo” agreement, according to which Jordanians are the custodian of the mosque and only Muslims are allowed to pray inside. It will also be a violation of the international law of occupation, under which an occupying power is not allowed to make any fundamental changes in the occupied territories.
As per the proposed legislation, Palestinians will get access to around 30 percent of the present compound, with the rest going to the settlers, including the area where the Dome of the Rock is located. It will also allow the settlers to use all the gates of the compound instead of the present mechanism where they are only allowed to enter the mosque compound through the Maghariba (Moroccan) gate.
Shtayyeh’s remarks came after the Islamic Supreme Council and Council of Scholars and Preachers in the occupied territories issued a statement on Sunday calling the Israeli proposal to divide the Al-Aqsa mosque dangerous.
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories, Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, warned that the move will lead to a “worldwide religious war.”