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Islamic leader urges Muslims to visit Jerusalem

In boost to Palestinians, head of Islamic group urges Muslims to pray at Jerusalem holy site

Islamic leader urges Muslims to visit Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (AP) -- The head of the world's largest Islamic organization has paid a rare visit to Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque in a bid to strengthen Palestinian claims to the holy site.

Iyad Madani, secretary-general of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, urged the world's Muslims to follow suit and visit Al-Aqsa, the third-holiest site in Islam.

During the visit Monday, Madani prayed at the iconic Dome of the Rock. He said: "It is our right to come here and to pray here."

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed the area in a move that is not internationally recognized. Al Aqsa is located on a hilltop compound revered by Jews and Muslims, and the conflicting claims to the site have frequently spilled over into violence.

Updated : 2021-09-21 20:26 GMT+08:00