KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Malaysia strongly condemns Israel's closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
"Malaysia strongly condemn Israel's closure of the Al-Aqsa mosque and denying the rights of the Muslims to perform Friday prayers," he said in his Twitter account on Sunday.
Israeli cancelled Friday prayers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque after three Palestinians and two Israeli police officers were killed in a gun battle at the mosque compound.
Al Jazeera reported that following the incident, Israeli police cleared the Al-Aqsa Mosque and closed it to the public.
Meanwhile, Wisma Putra in a statement said that the action by the Israeli authorities was a violation of international laws and norms.
"This is the first time since 1969 that Muslim worshippers are banned from performing Friday prayers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque," it said.
The Foreign Ministry stressed that the provocative action by Israel constitutes a flagrant violation of Muslim's rights to perform their religious rituals in their holy places, free from any restrictions, and that the freedom to worship was a right guaranteed under the international law.
The ministry said Malaysia demanded that Israel immediately re-open the Al-Aqsa Mosque to Muslim worshippers and cease any action that would change the status quo of the Islamic holy site. - Bernama