Thursday, 23 May, 2019

Fire broke out at Al-Aqsa same time as Paris’s cathedral burned

GettyImages-454677194 Al-Aqsa Mosque Burns At Same Time as Notre Dame
Patty Aguilar | 18 April, 2019, 16:46

Al-Aqsa, a mosque considered to be the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina, is situated in the Old City section of East Jerusalem.

"The fire broke out in the guard's room outside the roof of the Marwani Prayer Room", Wafa news agency said, adding, "Fire brigade of the Islamic Waqf handled the matter successfully".

The blaze began in a guard's booth in the courtyard at the flashpoint site that sits at the centre of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

According to Newsweek, a small fire broke out at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound - famously known as the home of the Temple Mount - on Monday evening in the Marwani Prayer Room, also known as Solomon's Stables.

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Most of the wooden roof beams have been burned, and parts of the concrete vaulting holding up the roof have collapsed. Among past catastrophes, a 1972 fire engulfed the roof of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul de Nantes.

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Al-Aqsa means "the farthest" in Arabic; a house of worship was built in the site because of a verse in the Quran describing the prophet Muhammad's "Night Journey", which says he went to the farthest mosque before ascending to heaven atop a flying horse named Buraq ("lightning, in Arabic)".

The fire broke out at the roof of a structure known as the Al Marwani prayer room in Al Aqsa mosque, GulfNews reported.

According to the Palestine News Agency, President Mahmoud Abbas has expressed "deep regret" over the fire at the Notre Dame. He called for preserving the compound's "great religious and humanitarian value". A fire broke out at the sacred site just as a much larger blaze engulfed the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The fire was brought under control on Tuesday morning. Israel has governed the entire city since 1967, when it seized the territory from Jordan.

In a controversial move, President Donald Trump recognized the entirety of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017, dismissing competing Palestinian claims to the city and upsetting a broad global consensus. Israel called the decision "historic", even as several countries and the United Nations, the European Union and the Vatican, criticised the move.

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