A Palestinian Arab cleric on Thursday claimed that the Western Wall in Jerusalem belongs to the Muslims.
Speaking to Hamas’s Palestine newspaper, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, head of the Supreme Muslim Council and formerly the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, said that Muslims are the “legal owners” of the Al-Buraq Wall (Western Wall in Arabic) and, as such, no other person or entity are entitled to it.
"Therefore, nobody has the right to take the Al-Buraq Wall away from the Muslim ownership, since it is a fundamental part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque," said Sabri.
He further declared that the Western Wall cannot be a subject for discussion, as it is the pillar of the Muslim faith and religion.
"Anyone who gives up the Al-Buraq Wall it’s as though he gave up the Al-Aqsa Mosque," stressed Sabri, who added that the Western Wall is part of Al-Aqsa and will remain in the hands of Muslims until the Day of Judgment, because, as he claimed, the Prophet Mohammed tied his horse to Al-Buraq before ascending to heaven.
Sabri’s comments come a day after the Palestinian Authority failed in an attempt to pass a resolution at UNESCO calling for the Western Wall to be listed as an Islamic site – or more specifically as an "extension of the Al Aqsa Mosque".
While the PA did succeed in passing a resolution listing the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem as Muslim sites, the part about the Western Wall was hastily withdrawn after widespread condemnation, including from UNESCO's own Director-General.