Mon Aug 21 2017, 7:44:35 +03

Closing Al-Aqsa mosque unacceptable: Turkey

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(Istanbul-AlummahWorld-Shawwal 24,1438H) Turkey`s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş criticized the Israeli decision to close the Al-Aqsa mosque to worship, saying that it is a crime against humanity.

Speaking to reporters following a cabinet meeting in Ankara, Kurtulmuş noted that the mosque, which is located in Jerusalem, is regarded as one of the holiest places for Muslims.

Israeli authorities closed Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Saturday following a shootout that left five people dead. They also canceled the weekly Friday prayers for the first time in nearly five decades.

Noting that the mosque compound has not been closed since the war in 1967, Kurtulmuş said that Friday prayers have never been obstructed until now and urged Israeli authorities to open the holy site to worship.

Islamic countries, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Muslims around the world condemned Israel for closing Al-Aqsa Mosque and expressed deep concerns refarding ongoing situation in Israeli occupied land of Palestine.