Sisi Slams Israel for ‘Violating’ Al-Aqsa Mosque

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday criticized Israel over tensions on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, where Islamist assailants have used Al-Aqsa Mosque as a base to attack Israeli police on numerous days over the last week amid Rosh Hashanah.

"It is without doubt a dangerous violation of Islamic holy places," Sisi said of Israeli law enforcement at a press conference with EU president Donald Tusk, urging Israel to take "immediate and effective steps" to defuse tensions.

"The international community must realize the attachment of all Muslims to this place," he said, warning that the unrest could have "grave consequences for peace and stability."

His condemnation follows earlier Egyptian criticism towards Israel last Sunday when the rioting began.

Ironically, Sisi's criticism focuses on Israeli police for enforcing law and order on the Mount – the holiest site in Judaism – when faced by Arabs who repeatedly attacked them in pre-planned riots with rocks and explosives.

Those clashes, which lasted throughout last week, were fueled by Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who called last Wednesday for violence at the Temple Mount against Jews saying: "the Al-Aqsa (Mosque on the Mount – ed.) is ours…and they (Jews) have no right to defile it with their filthy feet."

The violence throughout the week of the Jewish New Year was accentuated on Sunday just as the holiday began, when Arab terrorists murdered Alexander Levlovitz in Jerusalem's southeastern Armon Hanatziv neighborhood by hurling a rock through his car's window, making him lose control of the vehicle and crash.

Despite being the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount has been left in the de facto control of the Jordanian Waqf, which has banned Jewish prayer at the site in spite of Israeli law stipulating freedom of worship for all.

AFP contributed to this report.


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