Abbas advisor:
'Al-Aqsa must be returned to Palestinian hands'

Senior PA official warns of an escalation following Israel's security measures on the Temple Mount.

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Dalit Halevi,

Al-Aqsa mosque
Al-Aqsa mosque
Nati Shohat/Flash 90

Mahmoud Al-Habbash, president of the Palestinian Authority's (PA) judicial system and an advisor to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas on religious affairs, on Monday blasted the security measures taken by Israel following last Friday’s attack on the Temple Mount, in which two Border Policemen were murdered.

Habbash said that the Israeli measures in Jerusalem are null and void and constitute a blatant violation of the conventions and decisions of international institutions regarding the status of Jerusalem and its holy sites.

According to him, the exclusive sovereignty over the entire Temple Mount belongs to the Islamic Waqf.

He warned Israel against continuing to carry out its "crimes" in Jerusalem, saying those “crimes” would not bring Israel peace and security, but would instead lead the region to violence and bloodshed.

The only way to achieve peace and security for all, said Habbash, is by "ending the occupation and returning Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque to Palestinian and Islamic hands, granting the Palestinian people their rights and establishing a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital."

His comments come in response to Israel’s decision, following Friday’s attack, to place magnetometers (advanced metal detectors which are selective in which metals they react to) and additional security cameras around the entrances to the holy site.

The new security measures prompted an outcry from the PA, the Jordanian Waqf, and the Jordanian government, which demanded a return to the status quo.

On Sunday, the lower chamber of the Jordanian parliament held a memorial ceremony led by the Speaker of the House in honor of the terrorists.