By Abdelraouf Arnaout
JERUSALEM (AA) - Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, director of East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, has said that Israeli police bear full responsibility for recent escalations at the flashpoint site.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency on Monday from a hospital where he is receiving treatment, al-Kiswani said: "The Israeli police are trying to impose a new fait accompli at the [Al-Aqsa] mosque, which we absolutely reject."
"We call for Arab and Islamic action to stop continued Israeli attacks on the mosque and its worshipers," he added.
Al-Kiswani was taken to hospital earlier Monday after sustaining an injury near East Jerusalem’s iconic Dome of the Rock, which is located inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
Al-Kiswani says he was injured after falling down between a crowd of Palestinian worshipers and Israeli forces inside the mosque compound, sustaining bruises and light injuries.
Earlier Monday, the Palestinian authorities closed the Dome of the Rock after an Israeli policeman attempted to force his way into the site.
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 during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state -- a move never recognized by the international community.