Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa MosqueSliman Kader/Flash 90

Omar al-Kiswani, director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, said on Wednesday that "the Israeli occupation will fail in its efforts to bring the Arab residents of Jerusalem to despair."

Israel, he claimed, is trying to do this through "provocative actions, daily break ins to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, preventing the renovation and removal of security guards, officials of the endowment department (Waqf) and other activists."

Kiswani said in an interview that the Palestinians would continue to fulfill their duty and are "willing to pay the price for holding onto the Al-Aqsa Mosque and preserving the Islamic and Arab character of the site."

According to Kiswani, "The Golden Gate is an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the mosque management does not recognize the decisions of the Israeli court that ordered the closure of the Islamic prayer house that operated there.”

He stressed that "the Muslim residents of Jerusalem will continue to pray at the Golden Gate despite the harassment, and call on the Islamic and Arab nations to take responsibility for the Al-Aqsa Mosque and help the residents of Jerusalem to ensure that the Al-Aqsa Mosque remains an Islamic site."

Last year, a Jerusalem court ordered the closure of the Bab al-Rahma (Golden Gate or or Gate of Mercy) compound on the Temple Mount, where the Waqf had erected a mosque illegally.

After the site became a mosque and Israeli authorities worked to shut it down because the work was carried out illegally, Arabs broke into the site by force.