PA condemns UAE for visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque under Israeli protection

The Dome of the Rock mosque near the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem's Old City (Ahmad Gharabli - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  October 20, 2020

Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh has criticised a visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem by a UAE delegation under Israeli police protection, Anadolu has reported.

“Al-Aqsa Mosque should be entered through the gate of its owners, not through the gate of the Israeli occupation,” Shtayyeh said during the weekly cabinet meeting on Monday. “It is sad to see some Arab delegations entering Al-Aqsa Mosque compound through the Israeli gate, while Israel denies access for Palestinian worshippers to perform their prayers.”

The visit in question happened on Sunday. A video went viral on social media showing Palestinian worshippers pushing the Emiratis out and describing “normalisers” as “rubbish”.

The visit coincided with Bahrain and Israel signing an agreement which formalised their diplomatic relations. This was described by Shtayyeh as a “reward to the Israeli occupation to encourage it to confiscate more Palestinian land and build more settlements.”

Bahrain, the UAE and Israel agreed to establish full diplomatic, cultural and commercial relations following the signing of controversial normalisation agreements on 15 September at the White House.