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Masjid Al Aqsa Statement

As a Mosque in the heart of Manchester, we unequivocally condemn the actions of the Israeli “militarised” police forces and soldiers within the sacred compound of Masjid Al Aqsa.

All places of worship, regardless of faith, are safe sanctuaries for the sole purpose of private and collective worship. It is unacceptable that they become a place of violent conflict, disorder and bloodshed. The images which were tantamount to a an illegal military assault under international law via the use of aggressive guns and grenades are totally inconsistent with all accepted moral, civil, ethical and legal international law.

Masjid Al Aqsa is one of the most sacred sites in the Muslim world and it was even more heart breaking to see the images and videos which were circulated in the last few nights during the blessed holy month of Ramadan.

We whole heartedly condemn the relentless bombing of Israeli fighter jets targeting civilian neighbourhoods in Gaza as Palestinians celebrate Eid al-Fitr. 84 civilians have died, including 17 children. More than 480 civilians have been wounded, and the figures are rising as the bombardment continues.

We call on our government, Prime Minister, our MPs, our congregations, and all our brethren in monotheistic faith, to openly voice their concerns about the distressing situation in Jerusalem – such that there is no further repeat in the future of such horrific events.

Given the disturbing scenes in Sheikh Jarrah over the past few days, we wish to emphasise that East Jerusalem remains part of the occupied Palestinian territory, in which international humanitarian law still applies. The occupying power must respect and cannot confiscate private property in occupied territory, and must respect the laws in force in the country.

Israel cannot impose its own set of laws in occupied territory, including East Jerusalem, to illegally evict Palestinians from their homes. We urge world leaders to stop Israel from demolishing and evicting Palestinians from their neighbourhoods, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian law.

We stand by the people of Palestine