Published: Thu, April 18, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem catches fire

Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem catches fire

The Palestine News Agency, which is the official outlet of the Palestine National Authority, said the fire broke out in a guard's room outside the roof of the Marwani Prayer Room.

The Islamic Awqaf and Aqsa Affairs Department in Al Quds said on Tuesday that Monday's fire at part of the mosque was due to children in the area playing around with fire.

Videos shared on social media showed smoke rising from the top of the Marwani Prayer room also known as Solomon's Stables.

On Monday night, flames marred the skyline surrounding two of the world's most prominent holy sites: Paris' Notre-Dame Cathedral and Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Happy Easter - there is a warm sunny weekend ahead
Friday looks to have a shower here and there throughout the first part of the day, and then scattered showers after 2 PM. This means instead of pushing it along it will get caught up in that flow and effectively become stalled.

The fire brigade of the Islamic Waqf department in Jerusalem managed to control the blaze, while the area is now closed to examine the cause of the fire, which is now unclear. Solomon's Stables is at the bottom of the stairs, which lead down from the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which has the capacity to hold 5,000 people.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the fire and warned anyone against targeting the holy site, stressing the need to preserve the compound's "great religious and humanitarian value".

The site of Al-Aqsa Mosque is a bone of contention between the Israel and Palestine revered by both the Muslim and Jews communities and has also aggravated the ongoing Israel-Arab conflict. A fire broke out at the sacred site just as a much larger blaze engulfed the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Israel annexed the entirety of the city in 1980 in a move not recognized by much of the worldwide community, though Jordan's monarchy was granted custodial rights over the Islamic holy sites.

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