It is known that the western part of Jerusalem falls down under the Israeli occupation in 1948. In 1967, Israel completed the occupation of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, where al-Aqsa Mosque is located. Thus, al-Aqsa Mosque becomes within the occupied territories in 1967, where several international resolutions were issued calling for the withdrawal of the occupation army from the city. Although the administrative and financial affairs of al-Aqsa Mosque is managed by the Jordanian Ministry of Awqaf, the entire mosque is still besieged and its entrance is under the control of the Zionist occupation since 1967. The occupation also effectively occupies some buildings inside al-Aqsa Mosque, imposes age restrictions on worshipers, and prevents millions of Palestinians and Muslims to access to al-Aqsa to perform prayers. On the other hand, it is allowed for thousands of extremist Jews to break into the al-Aqsa Mosque in contrary to the will of Muslims, and they seek to impose temporal and spatial division.
Examples of some landmarks of Al-Aqsa, which is controlled by the Zionist occupation:
Moroccans Gate: Hijacked by the Zionists since its occupation in 1967. They use it for tourists and extremists Jews to storm into the mosque and prevent Muslims from entry.
Al-Buraq Wall: It is a part of the Western Wall of al-Aqsa Mosque. The Zionists seized it since 1967 and turned it into a Wailing Wall, a place of worship for Jews, and it’s forbidding for Muslims to enter it.
Al-Tankaziyah School: Since 1969, the occupation has turned it into a barracks for the so-called border guards’ forces.
Al-Omaria School: It became a part of the Israeli municipality. The occupation forces use some oars of it to fire at the Muslim worshipers during the clashes.
Two Hermitages for worship: The occupation turned them into a police point in the heart of al-Aqsa Mosque.
Al-Kurds wall: It’s a part of the western wall of al-Aqsa Mosque. The occupation turned it into a small wailing wall.
Examples of minimizing the role of the Jordanian Awqaf in managing al-Aqsa Mosque:
– Since 2000, the Israeli occupation forces have imposed a complete ban on the entry of the construction and renovations materials to al-Aqsa Mosque.
– Restricting the movement of Awqaf employees such as arresting the imam of the mosque.
– Break the lock of one of the doors of the mosque and replace it with a new lock.
– Moving the authority to control the entry of the tourists from the Department of Awqaf to the occupation forces.
– Digging tunnels under al-Aqsa Mosque, which caused cracklings of some parts of it.
– Al-Aqsa Mosque was exposed to three massacres in 1990, 1996 and 2000 AD.
– During the last uprising of the Tribes Gate in July 2017, the occupation forces closed the mosque for more than two days and prevented people to perform Friday prayers and banned Azan. They also inspected all its buildings and offices after they had broken the locks and violated the sanctity of the mosque.
Restrictions on the entry of al-Aqsa Mosque:
The Zionist police forces set up checkpoints on every opened gate of al-Aqsa Mosque to obstruct Muslims on their way to the mosque, and they may prevent them to cross the checkpoints and enter, while the guards of al-Aqsa Mosque cannot oppose these forces.
This situation contributed to restricting the entry of ambulance and fire services to the Holy Mosque especially in the emergency cases, as in the fire of al-Aqsa in 1969 and in the three massacres of al-Aqsa between 1990 and 1996-2000. It also impeded the reconstruction of the mosque despite the need for it because of the Zionist excavation.
Residents of Gaza Strip, West Bank, and anyone who does not carry a blue ID card (an Israeli identity, ie, 1948 Palestinians) are completely banned from entering al-Aqsa Mosque.
Since the beginning of the al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000, All Muslim men under the age of 40 are banned from entering the mosque on Fridays by the occupation authorities.
(Source: Palestine Question and Answer website – Translated and modified by QFM).