Yehuda Weinstein wrote to Israeli authorities in Jerusalem in recent weeks insisting that Israeli planning and antiquities regulations apply to the holy Haram al-Sharif compound, Israeli media reported.
However he asked authorities to be pragmatic in implementing the law, taking into consideration the site’s unique status, Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post reported.
Abdul Rahman Abbad, the head of Muslims scholars council in Jerusalem, told Ma’an: “Muslims are the only ones who own this mosque.”
He insisted religious authorities are not bound by Israeli decisions, and warned of Israel’s intentions in issuing such a statement ahead of the holy month of Ramadam, when Muslims flock to the Haram al-Sharif.
The compound, containing the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, is the third holiest site in Islam and abuts the site where Jews believe the ancient Second Temple stood.
The flashpoint site is under the custody of the Islamic endowment authorities.
Israel annexed East Jerusalem after a 1967 war in a move never recognized abroad.