Palestinian Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, Yousef Adeis, on Sunday called on Arab and Islamic worlds to defend Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque against Israeli violations.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Adeis said Israeli violations at Islamic and Christian holy sites “have reached a dangerous level”.
He said the number of extremist Jews forcing their way into the Al-Aqsa compound has been steadily on the rise.
“We are now at a dangerous stage of Israeli plans to demolish Al-Aqsa Mosque and build their alleged temple,” he said, going on to call on the Arab countries “to shoulder their responsibilities to the holy sites”.
For Muslims, 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.
Tension has grown across the Palestinian territories in recent months, amid Palestinian rallies demanding the right to return to their homes in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
At least 48 Palestinians have been martyred and hundreds injured by Israeli gunfire since the rallies began on March 30.
The rallies will culminate on May 15, which will mark the 70th anniversary of Israel's establishment — an event Palestinians refer to as the "Nakba" or "The Catastrophe."