KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 – The action of the Israeli military regime in closing the Al-Aqsa Mosque and preventing Palestinian Muslims from entering the mosque has flouted the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights1966 (ICCPR) signed by Israel on October 3, 1991.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said the action was in violation of Article 18 (1) – (3) of the ICCPR which guarantees freedom of religion to individuals and communities and is a clear contempt of international law.
“The rights of Palestinians are also guaranteed by Article 27 of the Geneva Convention on the need to respect the rights and religious practices of a society,” he said in a statement today.
According to news reports, Israeli police closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque and did not allow Friday prayers to be held there after three Palestinians and two Israeli police were killed in an armed battle in the mosque’s compound.
Jamil Khir said Muslims stood firm in support of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s statement today condemning the Israeli crackdown on the Al-Aqsa Mosque and denying the right of Muslims to perform Friday prayers there, in fact, it was an extreme act which violated international law .
“Israel’s inflammatory act has stirred up the anger of Muslims all over the world as the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the first ‘kiblat’ (direction) in Islam and the third holy mosque for Muslims after Masjidil Haram in Makkah and the Nabawi Mosque in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.
“Al-Aqsa Mosque is actually a symbol of the dignity of Muslims whose purity must be defended and preserved,” he said.
Jamil Khir said any conflict between Israel and Palestine should not involve the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, thus Malaysia urged Israel to reopen the Al-Aqsa Mosque to restore the right of Muslims to worship.
Israel also needs to stop all forms of oppression against Muslims in Palestine, so Muslims in Malaysia are called upon to pray to Allah SWT to save the Al-Aqsa Mosque from Israel’s cruelty, he said.
Meanwhile, the Perdana Global Peace Foundation today criticised the latest act by the Israeli regime in closing the Al Aqsa Mosque for two days consecutively including the prohibition of the ázan’ or Muslim call for prayers and the Friday prayer at the mosque last week.
In a statement here, the foundation also called on the Malaysian government to take a firm and bold stand to prevent the Israeli regime from tarnishing the sanctity of the Al Aqsa Mosque and contravening international law.
“We remind the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that its formation was in response to the burning of the Al Aqsa Mosque in 1969, thus the OIC must take a more active and firm stand against what was happening at the mosque,” the statement said.
The foundation also called on the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM), the Islamic religious councils and departments to make this Friday (July 21) as a day of unity with Al Aqsa and to prepare a special sermon for the Friday prayers.
Last Friday, three Palestinian youths were killed within the Al Aqsa Mosque compound after being cruelly shot by the Israeli regime for preventing them from entering the mosque.
The Israeli regime subsequently closed the mosque until Saturday — an act that had never happened in the past. — Bernama