Palestinians on Sunday commemorated the 47th anniversary of an arson attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, as Palestinian officials highlighted that the Muslim holy site was still under threat today.
On Aug. 21, 1969, an Australian Christian fundamentalist set fire to a pulpit in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, aiming to bring about the second coming of Jesus Christ.
In a press conference, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Muhammad Hussein said that Israeli violations, which include detaining and killing Palestinians in the Al-Aqsa compound, allowing Israeli extremists to storm Al-Aqsa, and demolishing Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem were “another type of fire which keeps burning the Al-Aqsa mosque.” He added that “the city of Jerusalem, and has been burning for 47 years.”
In the besieged Gaza Strip, the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements organized a sit-in to mark the anniversary, during which Islamic Jihad leader Ahmad al-Mudalal said that Palestinian “resistance will always be in an open battle against Israeli occupation until the liberation of the al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Al-Mudalal added that diplomatic efforts and agreements with Israel were “false options” which could not be taken seriously so long as Israeli authorities carried out violations at the Al-Aqsa compound.
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Hamas spokesman Sami Abu added that “security cooperation with the Israeli occupation and the persecution of resistance parties are the biggest crimes against the liberation of Palestine and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Meanwhile, Palestinian governor of Jerusalem, Adnan al-Husseini, said that “the inability to solve the Palestinian issue until now hints at the dereliction towards the Palestinian cause and the lack of awareness of the dangers faced by the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the entire Palestinian cause.”