Fire Breaks out at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem

Al-Aqsa Mosque Burns At Same Time as Notre Dame

Al-Aqsa Mosque Burns At Same Time as Notre Dame

The fire broke out in the guard's room outside the roof of the Marwani prayer room, Antar al-Hazmawi, a guard of the al-Aqsa mosque confirmed to the The New Arab.

A small fire broke out at a guard's booth in the courtyard at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem but was extinguished and the site remains open, authorities said on Tuesday.

A venerated site in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam alike, it houses both the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the gold-capped Dome of the Rock - Islam's third-holiest shrine, built on the site of biblical Jewish temples.

No interior damage nor casualties were reported from the fire, which was overshadowed by the Notre Dame inferno in Paris that destroyed much of the Gothic cathedral's roof before firefighters brought the flames under control, saving the remaining two towers and parts of the interior of the iconic French landmark. The fire seems to have been started by children fooling around, and the waqf's statement urged worshipers "who live around the mosque and in the Old City to educate their children not to tamper with fire, especially inside al-Aqsa mosque". The cathedral's spire collapsed under the fire, which raged for hours.

The mosque compound is located in the Old City section of East Jerusalem, which Israel seized from Jordan in 1967. Israel annexed the entirety of the city in 1980 in a move not recognized by much of the worldwide community, though Jordan's monarchy was granted custodial rights over the Islamic holy sites.

In 2017, United States President Donald Trump formally recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, calling it "a long overdue step to advance the peace process".