Menu JTA Search

Moslem Group Challenges Israel’s Authority in Old City of Jerusalem

For the first time since the Old City of Jerusalem came under Israeli control, a group of Arab leaders today had challenged Israel’s authority. Twenty-five Moslem leaders, lay and religious, sent a resolution to the Israeli Government after a meeting in the compound of Al Aska Mosque, in which they stated formally they did not recognize the “annexation” of the Old City.

The group said that the Old City was “occupied only and remains an integral part of the Kingdom of Jordan.” The group said they had decided to elect a new Moslem spiritual leader and not to submit advance copies of the Imam’s sermons to the Israeli authorities. The Imam’s Friday sermon is generally broadcast in the Arabic programs of the Israel Radio.

The Moslem notables who signed the document included the former governor and mayor of Jerusalem, the chief judge of the Moslem religious courts and a former Jordanian ambassador to London.