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Arab League discusses filing UN complaint on Al-Aqsa violations

Feb. 26, 2014 9:38 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 26, 2014 9:38 P.M.)
CAIRO (Ma'an) -- The Arab League permanent representatives' emergency session discussed on Wednesday the possibility of filing a complaint to the UN Security Council regarding recent Israeli attacks on the Al-Aqsa compound in East Jerusalem.

The discussion comes amid a controversial Israeli Knesset discussion about extending Israeli sovereignty over the compound, which is holy to both Muslims and Jews but as part of the 1994 peace agreement with Jordan is under Jordanian custodianship.

The Arab League council called upon the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to spread awareness regarding the dangers threatening the compound in order to gain support for the complaint.

The council also called upon the EU, major powers, and UNESCO to take responsibility in Jerusalem and to protect Islamic and Christian holy sites from Israeli threats.

The Arab League condemned the continuous Israeli violations of the Al-Aqsa compound, and the recent escalation in incitement to violence and collective raids by Jewish organizations.

Some extremist Jewish organizations have called in the past for the destruction of the Al-Aqsa mosque and the construction of a Jewish temple there.

The League added that there would be no peace without a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and that recent Israeli actions are intended to foil the peace process.

Because of the sensitive nature of the Al-Aqsa compound, Israel maintains a compromise with the Islamic trust that controls it to not allow non-Muslim prayers in the area. Israeli forces regularly escort Jewish visitors to the site, leading to tension with Palestinian worshipers.

The compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque and is the third holiest site in Islam.

It is also venerated as Judaism's most holy place as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

According to mainstream Jewish religious leaders, Jews are forbidden from entering for fear they would profane the "Holy of Holies," or the inner sanctum of the Second Temple.

Al-Aqsa is located in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian territories that have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
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