Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb condemned on Tuesday the arbitrary actions of Israel against places of worship in Jerusalem after the Israeli government imposed taxes of over US$190 million on churches and affiliated buildings in February.
Tayeb emphasized that Israel aims to evacuate the holy city of Jerusalem from the Palestinian Christian and Muslim inhabitants as a step towards the “judaization” of Jerusalem, after US president Donald Trump proclaimed Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017.
The Al-Azhar head underlined its support of the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, notably “Al-Maqdseen” (the Palestinian inhabitants of Jerusalem) who defend their lands.
Al-Azhar called on the international community to force the Israeli government to cease unjust actions which violate principles of freedom of worship guaranteed by Islam, Christianity, Judaism and the international charters.
Meanwhile, at a coordination meeting with European Union (EU) foreign ministers in Belgium on Monday, the Arab League’s Arab ministerial delegation condemned the latest Israeli actions saying they aim to change the historic and legal statutes of the Islamic and Christian holy places in Jerusalem.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm