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PA Religious Affairs Ministry: Israel plans to take control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is “a purely Islamic waqf”

Headline: "The [PA] Ministry of Religious Affairs condemned the clearing of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and called to stop the attack against it"

"The [PA] Ministry of Religious Affairs condemned the fact that the occupation forces removed the worshippers and those carrying out Ribat (i.e., religious conflict over land claimed to be Islamic) from the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque yesterday evening, Thursday [Aug. 15, 2019] (following a stabbing attack –Ed.), 'in a new provocative step that was added to the previous steps, and which comes as part of attempts to establish a division according to areas and times within the Al-Aqsa Mosque (see note below –Ed.) as a prelude to taking control of it.' 

It also emphasized that 'the statements of the occupation's senior officials calling to secure [the Al-Aqsa Mosque] and violate the status quo at the Al-Aqsa Mosque which is a purely Islamic waqf (i.e., an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law) as recognized by UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) – are not far from these provocative steps that call to defy the sensibilities of the Muslims throughout the world.'"

Nassim Abu Roumi and Hamouda Al-Sheikh – 14-year-old Palestinian terrorists who stabbed and wounded an Israeli police officer at the Chain Gate of the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem on Aug. 15, 2019. Abu Roumi and Al-Sheikh were shot and killed during the attack; a Waqf guard bystander was wounded by the gunfire.

"Division according to areas and times" refers to a proposed law (May 2013) being reviewed in Israeli Parliament that would allow for both Jews and Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount, what the Palestinians call the Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza. The law seeks to designate separate prayer times and areas of the site for Muslims and Jews. However, Israeli PM Netanyahu has stated on many occasions that the Israeli government has no intention of ‎changing the status quo on the Temple Mount, which means Jews are allowed to enter the Temple Mount, but cannot pray there or engage in any type of worship.

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