Islamic institutions warn of ‘Judaization’ of Jerusalem
Islamic institutions based in Jerusalem on Thursday warned of the potentially dire implications of the U.S. decision to recognize the city as Israel's capital.
"We warn against the exploitation of this decision by the Israeli occupation and extremist Jewish groups to advance their plans as they pertain to the Al-Aqsa Mosque," read a joint statement issued by several Jerusalem-based Islamic institutions.
The statement was signed by the Jordan-run Islamic Waqf (which oversees Jerusalem's holy sites), the Jerusalem Islamic Affairs Council, the Supreme Islamic Committee, the Palestinian Fatwa Authority and the Jerusalem Waqf Department.
Despite widespread international opposition, U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
According to Trump, the U.S. State Department has already begun preparations for the relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The dramatic shift in U.S. policy has sparked demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq and other Muslim countries.
In light of Trump's controversial decision, the joint statement warned against Israel's ongoing attempts to "Judaize" Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound with a view to changing the city's historical demography.
"We warn against the consequences of this resolution [to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital], which violates international resolutions and the UN's founding charter," the joint statement read.
It went on to urge the U.S. administration "to immediately reverse this unjust decision and abide by relevant resolutions and laws".
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- now occupied by Israel -- might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
During his electoral campaign last year, Trump repeatedly promised to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and acknowledge Jerusalem as the Jewish state's capital.