Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa MosqueFlash 90

Thousands of Palestinian Arabs rallied in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday against French President Emmanuel Macron's defense of the right to publish cartoons seen as offensive to Islam.

Demonstrators chanted "There is no god but God, Macron is the enemy of God" and "Mohammed, your nation will not give in," following Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to AFP.

During his sermon, Sheikh Ikrima Sabri said the French president should be held accountable "for the acts of violence and chaos in France because of his provocative statements against Islam".

Sabri on Thursday called for a “day of rage” in support of the Prophet Mohammed and in protest against attempts to harm Mohammed’s honor.

France has been rocked by multiple deadly attacks in recent weeks that are suspected to be linked to Islamist extremism, including the latest at a church in Nice on Thursday when a knifeman killed three people.

Clashes erupted in the streets of the Old City shortly after Friday’s rally between protesters and Israeli security forces, who arrested three demonstrators, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

Controversy over cartoons of Mohammed in France erupted following the October 16 beheading of teacher Samuel Paty in a suburb of Paris after he showed cartoons of the prophet in class.

The cartoons were those published multiple times by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the offices of which were attacked in 2015 by Islamist extremists.

Macron has taken a firm stance against Islamism in the wake of the attack and has strongly defended the right to publish cartoons of Mohammed.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has led the charge against France, questioning Macron’s mental state last week. In response, France recalled its ambassador to Turkey for consultations, a first in French-Turkish diplomatic relations.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, compared between Holocaust denial and cartoons that insult the Prophet Mohammed.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)