Indonesia Condemns Tensions in East Jerusalem


JULY 20, 2017

Jakarta. Indonesia on Wednesday (19/07) condemned the escalation of tensions in East Jerusalem, following reports saying that Al-Aqsa Mosque imam Sheikh Ikrima Sabri has been injured by a rubber bullet shot by Israeli police.

In a statement, the government expressed its concerns about the worsening situation in the mosque complex.

The incident occurred when the police were trying to disperse worshipers, leaving many injured, according to Palestine's Red Crescent Society.

"Indonesia condemns the steps undertaken by Israeli police, who are limiting access to Al-Aqsa Mosque" the statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

On Sunday, Israel began implementing new security measures at the entrance points of the mosque complex, including checkpoints with metal detectors, after two Israeli policemen were killed by citizens of Palestinian origin.

In the statement, Indonesia condemned the security measures, urging Israel to restore free access for Muslims, and called on all parties involved to refrain from further straining the situation.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site for Sunni Muslims, after the cities of Mecca and Medina. Its wider compound, known as the Noble Sanctuary of Jerusalem, is one of the world's most important religious sites, venerated by Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Indonesian Ulema Council

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) on Thursday released a statement urging Israel to reopen the mosque to avoid tensions as Palestinian Muslims are planning to conduct Friday prayers in the compound.

In the statement, MUI also called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to arrange a special meeting on this sensitive situation, adding that Israel's policy violates freedom of worship guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The council also expressed its hope that the Indonesian government will urge the UN Security Council to hold a session on the issue.