The International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) has called for preventing extremist settlers from storming the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday.

The IUMS “condemns repeated provocations and continuous attacks by extremists on Al-Aqsa Mosque,” IUMS Secretary-General Ali al-Qaradaghi said in a statement.

Israeli extremist groups have called on settlers to force their way into Al-Aqsa complex in large numbers on July 18, on the occasion of the anniversary of what Israel calls “the destruction of the temple.”

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

The so-called Sovereignty Movement in Israel is also preparing to organize a march for settlers around the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem on the same day.

“The aggressor, occupying settlers have been insisting for decades on storming Al-Aqsa complex, and their last attempts were in the holy month of Ramadan,” al-Qaradaghi said.

He hailed Palestinians as “heroes” for protecting the mosque, stressing that the extremists’ project will fail again.

“We urge the Palestinians in general and the people of Jerusalem and its surroundings in particular to mobilize to protect Al-Aqsa” al-Qaradaghi said.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara

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