Skip to main content

New report outlines Al-Aqsa Mosque recommendations

The International Crisis Group report on Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem tackles this controversial issue for Muslim Palestinians and Israeli Jews, and proposes recommendations to de-escalate the tension between all concerned parties, including Jordan.
Israeli border police officers walks in front of the Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City November 5, 2014. Israeli security forces hurling stun grenades clashed with Palestinian stone-throwers at al-Aqsa mosque - a confrontation that has played out frequently over the past several weeks. REUTERS/Ammar Awad (JERUSALEM - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST RELIGION) - RTR4CY31

The status of Islam’s third-holiest site, Al-Aqsa Mosque, has been the subject of many academic and research efforts, most of them with an ideological bias. Israeli Jews consider the site of utmost importance to them and most research associated with Israel reflects this view. Some right-wing Israelis often try to stir up other Jews about access to the compound that houses the mosque, emphasizing that the Jews who won the 1967 war still “don’t have unfettered access,” including the right to pray at the mosque.

Arab Muslims fear Israeli attempts to Judaize the site, or, at best, to impose a policy where the site is shared with Jews, similar to the arrangement at Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque, where over the past 48 years prayer areas in parts of the mosque are shared by Jews and Muslims. For Muslims, the entire walled and guarded compound that includes Al-Aqsa Mosque — Masjid Omar, the Islamic Museum and the courtyards — is generally referred to as Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and is regarded as one holy site.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.