President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi stated Saturday that the Al-Aqsa Mosque has been witnessing daily violations that are increasing at an unprecedented rate, leading to a very critical condition.
Al-Sisi added that the current conditions indicate the Israeli government’s failure to carry out its responsibilities under international law to protect holy sites.
The current events contribute to diminishing the Palestinians’ hope in the realisation of a Palestinian state in accordance with the internationally agreed upon two-state solution, the president said.
The statements came during a press conference with President of the European Council Donald Tusk, held to discuss cooperation between the Egyptian government and the Council.
Over the past week, the Al-Aqsa Mosque has witnessed rising tensions amid ongoing clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces.
The Israeli authorities said rioters had barricaded themselves inside the compound, and were attempting to disrupt Jewish worshippers visiting the site, which is also revered in Judaism, ahead of the Rosh Hashanah (New Year) celebrations on Sunday 13 September.
Muslims in the compound accused police of damaging the area, barricading the entrances and forcing worshippers to pray outside. Local Muslims have told the press that they fear Israel is attempting to change the rules governing the site, and are looking to establish a new Jewish temple.
Amid clashes, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held an emergency meeting last Tuesday on the “escalation of stone-throwing” in Jerusalem, reported Israeli news outlet Haaretz.
On Sunday, Haaretz reported that Netanyahu criticised the nature of legal punishments given to “stone-throwers”, and demanded severe minimum sentences to be imposed on individuals who throw stones or firebombs.
Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced the clashes that erupted at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, after Israeli security forces stormed the third holiest site in Islam.
Egypt said that the “continued violation of religious sanctities fuels the feelings of anger and undermines negotiations”, and called on Israel to respect religious sanctities.
Days later, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on Israel to end their provocative and escalating policy in Jerusalem, and their raids on holy sites.
The statement came after clashes between Israeli police forces and Palestinian youth at the Al-Aqsa Mosque reached their peak since they began four days earlier.
Israel seized East Jerusalem, the area where Al-Aqsa is located, in the Six Day War of 1967, and later annexed the territory, a move that has not been recognised internationally.
Egypt, which was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, reopened the Israeli Embassy in Cairo on 9 September, after four years of closure due to protesters storming it during 2011.