: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Malaysia strongly condemn Israel for closing the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
“Malaysia strongly condemn Israel for closing the Al-Aqsa mosque and denying the rights of the Muslims to perform Friday prayers,” he said in his Twitter account today.
According to news report, Israeli police closed and cancelled Friday prayers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque after three Palestinians and two Israeli police officers were killed in a gun battle in the mosque compound. READ: After deadly shooting, Israel says Jerusalem's Noble Sanctuary to reopen Sunday
Al Jazeera, the independent news channel in the Arab world, reported that following the incident Israeli police cleared the Al-Aqsa Mosque and closed it to public.
Meanwhile, Wisma Putra in a statement today accorded Prime Minister's assertion, stressing that the action by the Israeli authorities was a violation of international laws and norms.
"This is the first time since 1969 that Muslim worshipers are banned from performing Friday prayers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” it said.
The foreign ministry further stressed that the provocative action by Israel constitutes a flagrant violation of Muslim’s rights to perform their religious rituals in their holy places free from any restrictions and that the freedom to worship was a right guaranteed under the international law.
Thus, the ministry said Malaysia demanded that Israel immediately re-open the Al-Aqsa Mosque to Muslim worshippers and cease any action that would change the status quo of the Islamic holy site.