On the occasion of the 54th anniversary of the arson attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Europeans for al-Quds Organization is urging the countries of the European Union and the international community as a whole to implement effective measures aimed at halting Israeli policies that directly affect the mosque and the entirety of the occupied city of Jerusalem. These policies have been accused of enforcing severe forms of apartheid within these areas.
The anniversary of the Al-Aqsa Arson coincides this year with the escalation of Judaization policies carried out by the most radical Israeli right-wing government in the history of the occupying state. This government is actively working to transform the extremist right’s plans into concrete actions.
The Europeans for al-Quds organization has issued a warning regarding concerning Israeli policies targeting the Al-Aqsa Mosque. These policies involve obstructing restoration efforts within the mosque and issuing threats of arresting individuals working in these restoration activities. This situation is exacerbated by the growing occurrences of stonefalls and collapses due to the escalating Israeli excavation projects.
Israeli forces have been consistently storming Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, with the intention of obstructing i’tikaaf and perpetrating assaults on both worshipers and those stationed in the area. Additionally, they have been expelling prominent Islamic and Jerusalem figures who are recognized for their significant roles in safeguarding the mosque.
Israel is working through several approaches to Judaize Al-Aqsa Mosque and impose new facts in it, the first of which is to isolate the mosque from its surroundings through Judaization excavations that extended from Al-Buraq Square, to different locations. The second is to increase the frequency of incursions, as Europeans documented the participation of 34,311 settlers in storming the mosque since the beginning of the year until mid-August.
As for the third approach, it is represented in the settlers performing Talmudic prayers and rituals with priestly attire, and evoking the biblical facts that prepare for the demolition of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the establishment of the so-called Temple on its ruins, including bringing 5 red cows in preparation for building the Temple according to extremist beliefs.
The Europeans for Al-Quds Organization stresses that the anniversary of the Al-Aqsa Mosque arson is an important occasion that everyone should stop at to realize the extent of the Israeli dangers and threats aimed at attacking the mosque.
On 21 August 1969, an extremist Australian Christian, Dennis Michael Rohan, attempted to set fire to Al-Aqsa Mosque, destroying parts of Al-Qiblah Mosque, the main building inside the Al-Aqsa compound, including the 1,000-year-old priceless wood and ivory pulpit, placed there by the Muslim leader Salaheddin.
The fire broke out in the eastern wing of the prayer hall, located on the southern side of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The fires devoured 1,500 square meters, which represents more than a third of the area of Al-Qibli Chapel, which is 4,400 square meters. The building was badly damaged, which required years to restore it and its decoration as it was.
The fire also devoured the historical pulpit of the mosque, which Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi brought from the city of Aleppo when the Muslims recaptured Jerusalem in 1187. This beautiful pulpit had a special value, as Sultan Nur al-Din Zangi ordered its preparation for the day of the liberation of al-Aqsa.
This came within the framework of a series of measures and policies implemented by the Israeli occupation since the occupation of the city in 1948 with the aim of obliterating the Islamic civilizational identity of the city of Jerusalem, imposing Judaization on it, and dedicating the settlement presence.
Over the past decades, this policy has not stopped, but has recently escalated, until the occupation forces have repeatedly violated Al-Aqsa Mosque and violently stormed it, attacked worshipers, and allowed settlers to storm and carry out large-scale marches.
Europeans for al-Quds confirms that the anniversary of Al-Aqsa Mosque arson is an occasion to recall the extent of the crime practiced by the Israeli authorities against the mosque and the entire city of Jerusalem, whose original inhabitants face the worst forms of racial discrimination in the modern era.
Al-Aqsa Mosque stands as a global cultural heritage site, necessitating worldwide collaborative endeavors to safeguard it from the brutal occupation that aims to distort its history and undermine its Islamic civilizational essence.
Given the escalating threats that persistently target the mosque, acting as a recurring source of tension, the international community must take immediate action to halt Israeli transgressions against the mosque, its worshipers, and all the sacred Islamic and Christian sites within the city of Jerusalem.
The abuse and violations that the mosque and the Jerusalemites are subjected to increase their belief in the justice of their cause and strengthen their connection and the generality of Muslims to their first Qibla and rejects any attempts to impose a temporal or spatial division on it.
On this occasion; Europeans for al-Quds Organization salute the Jerusalemites who insist on defending their city despite Israeli oppression and terrorism and urges Muslims and the free people in the world to support them in their legitimate struggle to liberate from the occupation and to exercise their right to freedom of worship and the preservation of their sanctities.
Europeans for al-Quds
August 21, 2023