OIC urges steps to protect Al-Aqsa

Palestinian Muslim worshippers pray in front of the Dome of the Rock Mosque, in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City.

Palestinian Muslim worshippers pray in front of the Dome of the Rock Mosque, in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has urged the international community to take effective steps to stop Israeli atrocities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including its recurrent attacks on Al-Aqsa, the third important mosque for Muslims in the world.

An OIC statement said the Israeli extremists were preventing Muslims and Christians from their places of worship in Al-Quds while Zionists were plotting to divide Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The OIC also informed the international community about the Zionist move to change the demography of Jerusalem, destroy its historical and religious sites and drive away its original Palestinian residents. “This is a clear violation of the international law and resolutions,” it added.

The OIC statement came as Israel killed three senior Hamas commanders in the Gaza Strip in an air strike and said it would continue to target the group’s armed leadership after a cease-fire failed.

Palestinian health officials said 26 Palestinians, including three children, the Hamas commanders and at least two other militants, were killed Thursday’s air strikes.

“The assassinations of the three Qassam leaders is a grave crime,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters. “But it will not break our people and Israel will pay the price for it.”

Hamas named the commanders as Mohammed Abu Shammala, Raed Al-Attar and Mohammed Barhoum, the three highest-ranking casualties it has announced since Israel started its offensive six weeks ago.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians marched at the funeral of the three Hamas commanders, firing weapons into the air in anger and calling for revenge.


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