Council demands respect for all religious sites

The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land, comprised of leaders of Jerusalem’s Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities, has released a statement calling for respect for the holy sites of all three religions.

The Nov. 13 statement came in response to recent clashes on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. The statement reads:

“The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land regrets that the holy sites in Jerusalem continue to be exploited for conflict in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. The Council reaffirms its commitment to advancing respect between religious communities in Jerusalem, the protection of each community’s holy sites and their sensitivities.

“Accordingly, in the wake of recent violent events, we express our support for all calls such as that of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammed Hussein, advocating non-violence and respect for the special and current status of the Al Aqsa Mosque, and the official repeated position of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel that it is prohibited by Jewish law (the Halacha) [for Jews] to enter the area.

“Together we call for the respect for the holy sites of all three religions and for peace of Jerusalem.”

Clashes broke out in late September when extremist Jews entered the area with Israeli soldiers, according to a Ma’an News Agency report available here.

This followed reports by the Islamic Christian Society in Support of Jerusalem that said that Israel plans to allow Jewish worshippers exclusive access to the compound to worship on 50 Jewish holidays.

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