Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Cape Town to protest the securitization of the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
Members of the Muslim Judicial Council of South Africa staged demonstrations on Wednesday, demanding the government cut all diplomatic ties with Israel and expel the Israeli ambassador from the country.
More than 4,000 members of the group as well as other dignitaries including Mandla Mandela took part in the demonstrations.
The rally was launched from the Zinatul Islam mosque in District Six to the parliament, where a memorandum addressed to the minister of international relations was handed over.
It came after the Israeli government installed metal detectors, turnstiles, and additional security cameras in al-Aqsa Mosque compound following a deadly shooting attack that occurred earlier in July.
Israeli authorities, as they were faced with massive protests, withdrew and lifted security measures and other restrictions imposed on the al-Aqsa Mosque and compound.
The MJC said it wanted the South African government to close the Israeli embassy immediately for what it called “continuous desecrations” on the Muslim holy site in Israel.
Former MJC president Sheikh Ebrahim Gabriels said the demonstration was staged to express solidarity with the Palestinian people.
“We want the world to know that al-Aqsa is not only sacred to Palestinians but to every Muslim and that's why we are here,” Gabriels noted.