Maldives condemns storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque

Maldives has strongly condemned the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem on Thursday, by the Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, and hundreds of settlers.

In a statement on Thursday, the Maldivian Foreign Ministry expressed deep concern by the “flagrant violation of the sanctity of one of the most revered sites of the Muslim Ummah”.

It stressed that the Al-Aqsa Mosque holds a deep spiritual and cultural significance for Muslims around the world, and that its protection and preservation are of utmost importance.

The Maldivian government said that such provocative actions by the Israelis not only infringe upon the religious rights and freedoms of the Palestinian people, but it also deeply hurts the religious sentiments of millions of Muslims around the world.

The government said it also grossly undermines the prospects for peace and stability in the region.

The Maldives reiterates its position that finding long-lasting peace in the Middle East rests with reaching a two-State solution, with the establishment of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine, based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

The Maldives called upon the international community to take immediate and decisive action to prevent further acts of aggression against religious sites, and to uphold the principles of international law and human rights.

It said that it remains steadfast in its commitment to work closely with the international community to advocate for the cause of the Palestinians, and stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their legitimate struggle for self-determination.

The Israeli minister led a group about 1,700 far-right illegal settlers to the Al-Aqsa compound on Thursday.

The move has sparked condemnation from Muslim nations around the world.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third-holiest site.

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.​​​​​​​

Israeli forces and fanatical Jewish settlers frequently carry out raids at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and in recent years, the site has seen the incursions grow larger, and more brazen.