Sunday July 16, 2017
12:53 PM GMT+8

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JULY 16 — The Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (CENTHRA) and the Initiatives for Human Rights in Asia (IHRA) strongly deplore and condemn in strongest terms the action of the illegal apartheid regime, Israel, in poattacking Al Aqsa mosque by closing the same to Muslim worshippers and disallowing the performance of routine Friday prayers there by Muslims for the first time since 1969.

Such acts constitute blatant disregard of the human rights, in particular the freedom of worship and by extension, the freedom of religion of Palestinian worshippers in the sacred precincts of a revered religious institution in Al Quds Al Sharif in Jerusalem, Palestine.

Clamping down on Muslim worship at the holy mosque and sealing the same amounts to a flagrant violation of international law as well as international human rights instruments, namely the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR 1948) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR 1966) to which Israel is a signatory, clearly enshrine the right to freedom of religion, of which freedom of worship forms an integral part. Moreover, such an action breaches even Israel’s own founding document, the so-called “Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel” (which we do not recognise) in which the regime has pledged to safeguard the holy places of all religions.

The cowardly deed by Israel display gross inhumanity and callous disregard for the rights of Muslims in Palestine and the world over and serves to confirm the violent and racist ideology of Zionism and discredit further its shaky foundations. Clearly the rightwing terrorist regime at the helm of the so-called government of the Israeli state is led by warmongers who have been killing, destroying and suffocating the indigenous Palestinian population for decades and will use any pretext to physically demolish Al Aqsa with malicious intent in keeping with Zionist goals. 

The attack on Al Aqsa is clearly an affront to religious freedom. The military clampdown which denies Palestinian Muslims access to the holy site and its precincts cannot be justified under any circumstances. Unless the Netanyahu regime is stopped in its tracks, brought to account, charged and prosecuted for multiple human rights crimes, Israel will continue to disregard its international human rights and humanitarian laws and obligations.

The failure of the United Nations to act despite all the instruments at its disposal is an indication of its failure in its obligations towards the international community. This represents a tragic indictment of an inability by the so-called guardians of justice to intervene with determined resolve.

We affirm our solidarity with the people of Palestine and call upon the international community to condemn these acts and take immediate action to end the illegal clampdown of the sacred Al Aqsa mosque and its compound.

* Azril Mohd Amin is the Chief Executive of Centre for Human Rights Research & Advocacy (CENTHRA) and Chairman, Initiatives for Human Rights in Asia (IHRA), a Jakarta-based coalition of Asian human rights and humanitarian NGOs.

** This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.

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