King Mohammed VI of Morocco has strongly condemned as “unacceptable” Israel’s practices in Jerusalem that are meant to impose a fait accompli in the city, and urged the international community to take decisive actions to compel Israel to put an end to these provocative practices that could incite extremist tendencies, further tension, animosity and violence in the entire region.
In a letter he addressed to the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, King Mohammed VI, in his capacity as Chairman of the Al Quds Committee, deplored the Israeli authorities’ “continued, systematic violations in the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and around the Al-Aqsa Mosque”, in a blatant violation of international law.
The Monarch recalled Israel’s serious provocative measures that undermine regional and international efforts to revive the peace process and settle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He mentioned in this respect the unprecedented celebrations on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the annexation of Al-Quds, the development plans sketched for the Old City, and the various bills introduced by the Israeli Government to Judaize education in the occupied city of Al Quds, annex Israeli settlements in the West Bank and other areas in East Jerusalem, set up a ‘unified Jerusalem’, and ban the call to prayer in the city and surrounding Arab neighborhoods.
“The Israeli authorities are launching a comprehensive campaign of escalation against the Old City in Al-Quds Al-Sharif and its surroundings by confiscating Palestinian land, by denying Palestinians the right to build and by carrying out arbitrary evictions,” the Monarch underscored.
He denounced more serious illegal measures taken by Israel, which, on July 14, he recalled, “proscribed the Friday prayers, closed Al-Aqsa Mosque to worshipers for three days and, for the first time in half a century, banned the call to prayer. It also detained, for several hours, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, the Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestinian territories”.
“Israel has increased tension in the region by introducing additional provocative and unacceptable security measures, installing surveillance cameras throughout the Al Aqsa Mosque compound as well as security gates to check the worshipers, and assaulting officials and employees of the Islamic endowment department,” the King stated in his letter, underlining that “these illegal actions undermine the dignity of the inhabitants of Al Quds and constitute a provocation for all Palestinians”.
The Monarch warned that these unacceptable Israeli policies “may lead to an outpouring of anger and an overall public reaction that could compound the situation in the Palestinian territories.”
“These provocative practices arouse the feelings of Arabs, Muslims and freedom lovers in the world. They could incite extremist tendencies that may lead to further tension, animosity and violence in the entire region,” said King Mohammed VI who reiterated that in his capacity as Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee he “strongly condemns these unacceptable Israeli policies”.
The Monarch called the international community and the UN Secretary General to compel Israelis to respect the legal and historical status of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the Holy Places, and to ask them to cancel all illegal measures, including the additional security arrangements.
These measures have prompted suspicion that there might be an Israeli plan for the spatial and temporal division of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the King stated, insisting on the centrality of the issue of Jerusalem and its special spiritual significance.
“No infringement on its symbolic character or its time-honored cultural identity can be tolerated,” he said warning against “the risk of turning the issue into a religious conflict, and exploiting the cultural heritage to incite hatred, fuel extremism and undermine the ideals of tolerance and affection between the followers of the revealed religions”.