Waqf: Temple Mount is exclusively for Muslims

Waqf says 'Zionist courts have no right to issue orders over Al Aksa Mosque' following ban on soccer games at Judaism's holiest site.

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Arab soccer on Temple Mount
Arab soccer on Temple Mount
Lucie March/Flash 90

The Jerusalem Waqf office, which is subordinate to the Jordanian Waqf office, condemned the decision of the Jerusalem police to prevent Arabs from playing soccer on the Temple Mount.

In a statement, the Waqf said that it does not recognize the authority of the "Zionist courts"

to intervene in the affairs of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and therefore refused to respond to the summons sent by the courts to hear claims filed against it.

"We emphasize time and time again that the 144 dunams (35 acres) mosque is an Islamic mosque which belongs to Muslims exclusively, and there is no right for any Israeli entity, whether governmental or legal, to interfere in the affairs of this mosque," the Waqf's statement said.

"We do not recognize any legal decision or decision by the Israeli courts, which do not bind the Muslims and the Islamic Waqf Department, and we do not recognize the sovereignty of Israeli law over the Al-Aqsa mosque," Waqf officials said.

The Supreme Court ruled that soccer gamesare forbidden on the Temple Mount, since they desecrate the site's holiness. This policy does not include the area near a school on the Temple Mount.

Attorney Haim Bleicher of the Honenu legal organization in a letter explained that "approximately one month ago, Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount noticed that the Arabs' soccer games had spread into the Temple Mount's main area."

"The police refused to hear their complaints, so the Jews spoke to a lawyer, who demanded the police do 'everything possible to avoid another such occurrence, and to bring those who desecrate the Temple Mount to justice.'"

Such conduct, Bleicher said, "is a desecration of a holy place and insults all who visit the Temple Mount, as well as all those who believe in Judaism."

The letter also noted that playing soccer in holy places is illegal and the punishment for such actions is seven years in prison.








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