Published: 2017-07-20 11:57
Last Updated: 2017-07-20 12:42
Muslim religious leaders have called for the closure of all mosques in occupied East Jerusalem, instead urging worshippers to take part in Friday prayers at the gates of Al Aqsa Mosque compound.
Members of the Waqf, or Islamic trust, in charge with running Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, made the call against a backdrop of “unprecedented” Israeli measures at the holy site, the Ma'an News Agency, reported on Wednesday.
Sheikh Azzam Al Khatib, head of the Islamic Trust and Mosque Affairs, said that the decision was taken to call on other mosques in Jerusalem to close in order to encourage worshippers to instead pray at the entrance to Al Aqsa.
Large protests are expected to continue in Palestine on Friday in response to Israel's previous closure of Al Aqsa, which followed a shoot-out which left three Palestinians and two Israeli occupation forces soldiers dead, Ma'an added.
In response to the installation of metal detectors at the entrance to Al Aqsa by Israeli forces, the Islamic Waqf called for a boycott of prayers at the mosque, instead urging worshippers to pray in the streets around the compound.
Protests have also taken place in Jordan, which has a peace treaty with Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood on Wednesday called for an “angry protest” in downtown Amman on Friday.
Israel's closure of the mosque compound was the first time such a move had been taken since 1969.