The Israeli embassy in Cairo, Egypt, has expressed gratitude at an Egyptian writer’s controversial remarks about the status of Jerusalem.
The embassy was reacting to an interview that was broadcast on Sunday, in which Youssef Ziedan, a popular Egyptian novelist and scholar, declared that the al-Aqsa mosque is not located in Jerusalem’s al-Haram al-Sharif compound.
He also said in the interview that Jerusalem is not a holy city.
The writer also laid blame on Arab and Israeli leaders, accusing them of making Jerusalem a battleground that has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
The Israeli embassy, in a statement late Tuesday, said on its Facebook page, “We are pleased to hear the words of writer and historian Youssef Ziedan and his description of the deep-rooted relationship between Jews and Muslims that existed even before Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him.
“And at how he pointed out that the origins of the ongoing conflict between the two sides stem from extremists.
“There is no doubt that Ziedan’s interpretation entails the need to abandon the culture of hate between the two sides, and this in our view is an important message.
“Cooperation between Jews and Muslims would benefit Egyptians and Israelis and would be beneficial to the two sides’ rising generations.”
Ziedan comments on the widely watched talk show, came at the back of protest at the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip over US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Citing scholars, Ziedan said that the structures of Al-Haram Mosque and Al-Aqsa Mosque were “on the road from Mecca to Ta’if” and that “neither we [Muslims] nor the [Jews] have anything to do with it.”
Trump’s announcement of moving his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem prompted international condemnation and widespread protests across the world.
Since Trump’s announcement, at least 15 people have been killed across the occupied Palestinian territories.