Israeli forces replace Al Aqsa call to prayer with national anthem to mark 'Memorial Day', sparking anger

Israeli forces replace Al Aqsa call to prayer with national anthem to mark 'Memorial Day', sparking anger
The Islamic Waqf accused Israel of trying to instigate a religious war that 'they can start and won't stop' after occupying Israeli forces banned the call for Isha prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque where they instead sang the national anthem for Memorial Day.
2 min read
04 May, 2022
The speech took place ahead of Israel's 'Independence Day' celebrations [Getty]

Palestine's Religious Affairs Minister condemned the raising of the flag of Israel and the singing of the Israeli anthem at Al-Aqsa Mosque while preventing the call for the night prayer.

Israeli forces raided Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday evening and banned the Muslim night prayer call to sing the national anthem and raise flags to mark Israel's Memorial Day.

Memorial Day commemorations took place at the Buraq Wall -  also referred to as the Western Wall - where Israeli President Isaac Herzog delivered a speech urging Israelis to stay united in the face of "hateful terror".

The speech took place ahead of Israel's so-called Independence Day, which will be celebrated on Thursday. 

Police confiscated audio wires at Al-Aqsa to prevent them from praying, said Sheikh Hatem Al-Bakri, Religious Affairs Minister and head of the Islamic Waqf.

He said that Tuesday evening's incident can only be explained by Israel wanting to spark a religious war that they will be able to start, but not stop.

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Al-Bakri called on the international community and organisations that work on heritage preservation to put an end to the "unjustifiable" attacks and urged the Arab and Muslim world to take action to protect Al-Aqsa - Islam's third holiest site.

Meanwhile, an extremist settler group has announced plans to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday in recognition of 'Independence Day'.

Activists for the Temple group urged Israelis to "celebrate independence on the Temple Mount," in reference to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, on their social media sites.

They urged attendees to wave the Israeli flag and chant the Israeli national anthem.

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There will be two planned incursions, one in the morning and another later in the evening.

Raids on the holy site come with increased settler violence against Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Israeli settlers and occupying forces carried out attacks on Palestinian worshippers at the holy site, leaving dozens injured and sparking outrage across the Muslim world. 

Palestinians in the coming weeks will commemorate the Nakba, or "the Catastrophe", when the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians by Zionist militias took place to create the state of Israel in 1948.