Al-Aqsa Sheikh says defence of mosque continues despite Israeli incitement

Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Ekrima Sa'id Sabri at Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem (Faiz Abu Rmeleh - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  February 6, 2023

Sheikh Ekrima Sabri stressed on Sunday that his defence of Al-Aqsa Mosque will continue despite Israeli incitement.

“The arrogance of the Israeli occupation and the threats of the Israeli Jewish settlers will not weaken our stance towards the issue of Al-Aqsa Mosque,” insisted octogenarian Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, the Friday prayer Imam of the mosque. “The Israeli occupation is targeting every single issue related to the Palestinian cause, mainly Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

On Saturday, Israeli media started an incitement campaign against Sheikh Sabri and called for him to be detained. The Hebrew-language Maariv published a report on its front page attacking Sabri and calling for him to be sent to prison.

The High Islamic Committee in Jerusalem blamed the Israeli occupation for any harm to the Sheikh “due to the systematic Israeli incitement” against him. Hamas, meanwhile, pointed out that the incitement campaign “will neither break the Sheikh’s will, nor stop him from defending” the third holiest site in Islam.

“The desperate Israeli attempts to incite against Palestinian national figures are part of a comprehensive and organized plan to control Al-Aqsa Mosque and divide it spatially and temporally,” said Hamas Spokesperson for Jerusalem Mohammed Hamada. He saluted Sheikh Sabri for his steadfastness against the Israeli occupation’s continued violations and attacks.

The veteran Sheikh has faced several Israeli campaigns calling for him to be expelled from Jerusalem, imprisoned and even killed due to his active defence of Al-Aqsa Mosque.