Hamas's spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, called in a press statement on Saturday urged Palestinians to escalate the al Quds (Jerusalem) Intifada in response to closing al-Aqsa Mosque and banning prayer there by the Israeli regime authorities.
Barhoum said that this crime falls in line with a religious war waged against the Palestinian holy sites, holding the Israeli government fully responsible for the consequences of this move.
The Hamas official urged Arab and Muslim across the world to demonstrate in front of the Israeli regime embassies everywhere to support al-Aqsa Mosque and pressure the Tel Aviv regime to stop its violations.
The Islamic-Christian Commission for Patronizing al-Quds and Holy Sites announced Saturday that it had completely lost control of al-Aqsa Mosque because of the Israeli regime tightened measures in Jerusalem that led to closing the Mosque for the second day in a row.
The Israeli regime closed the al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday after gunfight took place just outside the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) where Palestinians carried out an operation killing two Israeli regime troops. In response Israeli forces shot and killed three Palestinians during the incident.
Immediately after the shooting, the Israeli regime closed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, briefly detained Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem al-Quds, and cancelled Muslim Friday prayers at the site.
“We insist on reaching al-Aqsa mosque and performing prayers there. The occupation preventing us from praying marks an assault against our right to worship in this pure Islamic mosque,” Sheikh Muhammad said. The measures taken by the Tel Aviv regime drew condemnations from the Muslim world.
The last time Friday prayers were not held at the mosque was in late August 1969, a day after Michael Rohan, an Australian extremist Zionist, set the mosque on fire.
The Israeli regime occupied East al-Quds during the 1967 war. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming all of al-Quds as the regime’s “eternal" capital -- a move never recognized by the international community.
Sacred to Muslims, Jews and Christians, al-Quds is home to the al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina.