Senegalese Foreign Minister Sidiki Kaba on Wednesday visited East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound under Israeli police protection.
Jerusalem’s Religious Endowments Authority (Awqaf) and Higher Islamic Council, for their part, slammed the fact that Kaba’s visit had been organized without any coordination with the Palestinian side.
“The Senegalese FM visited the Al-Aqsa this morning accompanied by Israeli police and in the absence any coordination with Jerusalem’s Awqaf authorities,” Al-Aqsa Mosque Director Omar Kiswani told Anadolu Agency.
“We did not formally greet him, as his visit was arranged through the Israeli occupation authorities and not through us,” he said.
Al-Kiswani went to assert that anyone who entered the religious site accompanied by Israeli police would be viewed as an illicit trespasser.
“And that’s exactly what the Senegalese foreign minister did today,” he said.
For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount”, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, in which the Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. In a move never recognized by the international community, Israel annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as its “undivided” capital.