The top Islamic assembly in Palestine, the Supreme Fatwa Council, today condemned Israeli government aggression in occupied East Jerusalem, describing it as ethnic cleansing.
It said in a statement following a meeting in Jerusalem headed by its chairman, the Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, that the Israeli occupiers have escalated their attacks against the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem, including settlers throwing stones at homes, insulting and provoking residents, spraying them with pepper gas, closing streets and alleys, and attacking those who are in the neighborhood.
The Council said that “this aggression is an ethnic cleansing process against the indigenous population to replace them with settlers by the force of arms with the aim of evacuating it from its residents, Judaizing the occupied city of Jerusalem through plans to seize property and thousands of dunums of land, and displace thousands of Palestinians.”
It warned that the Israeli aggression could flare the conflict in the entire region.
The Fatwa Council also condemned Israeli violations against religious sites, including in the al-Haram al-Sharif (Al-Aqsa Mosque) compound by denying the Waqf department, which oversees the Mosque, the right to do restoration work to prevent water leaks and other problems.
It called on Muslims to be present at Al-Aqsa Mosque at all times to protect it while at the same time denouncing the Israeli settlers’ provocative storming of the third holiest Muslim site, which it said aims at creating new facts on the ground.
It also denounced the “unjust” demolition of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem and the appropriation of their lands.
“These authorities are continuing their aggression against our people, their holy places, their land and their property, with the aim of emptying the Holy City of its indigenous inhabitants through hideous racist aggression,” said the Islamic Council, calling on domestic and international organizations to intervene to stop what it described as “crimes against the Palestinians,” criticizing the world silence toward these acts, which gave the occupation the green light to continue and escalate its aggression.