As 47 years have elapsed, prominent Palestinian leaders and religious figures gathered in Jerusalem’s eastern town of al-Tour on Sunday to mark the anniversary of the arson attack on the holy al-Aqsa Mosque.
Palestinians commemorated the 47th anniversary of the notorious arson attack on the al-Aqsa Mosque, as Palestinian officials highlighted that the Muslim holy site was still under threat today.
In a press conference, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Muhammad Hussein said that Israeli violations, which include detaining and killing Palestinians in the Al-Aqsa compound, allowing Israeli extremists to storm al-Aqsa, and demolishing Palestinian homes in Occupied Jerusalem were “another type of fire which has kept burning the al-Aqsa Mosque and the city of Jerusalem for 47 years.”
Palestinian Governor of Occupied Jerusalem Adnan al-Husseini also said that “the inability to solve the Palestinian issue until now hints at the dereliction towards the Palestinian cause and the lack of awareness of the dangers faced by the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
“We can still smell the fumes of the fire which burst out 47 years ago in the excavations, break-ins, secret tunnels, arbitrary abductions, and abrupt confiscations perpetrated by the Israeli occupation authorities,” al-Husseini stated. “The al-Aqsa is not just made of walls and domes. It is part and parcel of the Islamic faith.
It’s worth goes far beyond its stones to reach the nation’s heart. Al-Aqsa is Muslims’ source of dignity and the nation’s beating heart,” he added.
Head of the al-Aqsa Academy for Science and Heritage, Sheikh Najeh Bkeirat, urged Arabs and Muslims to combine forces and work on liberating Occupied Jerusalem and al-Aqsa. Forty-seven years ago, the Jewish Australian tourist Denis Michael Rohan set fire to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied Jerusalem.
The arson attack was one of several assaults on the site since Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.
In April 1982, an Israeli soldier indiscriminately opened fire on Muslim worshipers inside the Mosque, killing two and wounding six others.
In October of 1990, Israeli police killed 21 Palestinians and injured scores during clashes that erupted when Israeli extremists tried to place the foundation stone of an alleged Jewish temple inside the Mosque’s compound.
The Israeli occupation authorities, meanwhile, have carried out excavations in the vicinity of the Mosque without disclosing the exact nature or details of these underground works.