Jerusalem Al-Aqsa mosque compound to close over virus

first_img“We hope that citizens will understand this procedure, in order to preserve their health and wellbeing,” Waqf member Hatem Abdel Qader told AFP.The closure coincides with a three-week lockdown to be imposed by Israel, which controls the entrances of the compound.The call to prayer will continue to ring out across Jerusalem’s Old City, Qader said, while Waqf employees will be allowed to pray at the site.Jordan is the custodian of the compound, known by Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, or Holy Sanctuary, and as the Temple Mount by Jews. Topics : It is only the second time that the Waqf has decided to close the compound since Israel occupied east Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967.Israel has previously blocked access to the flashpoint site, which is a focus of Palestinian aspirations for statehood.The Waqf shut the compound at the onset of the pandemic in March, when sweeping closures upended religious life in a way not seen for centuries.Israeli authorities have reported nearly 167,000 coronavirus cases, with 1,147 deaths. In the occupied West Bank some 214 people have died from the virus and more than 30,200 cases have been registered by Palestinian authorities.center_img Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam’s third holiest site, will be closed from Friday following a spike in coronavirus cases, the authority that administers the city’s Muslim holy places announced.With cases of the virus on the rise in Israel and the Palestinian territories, the Waqf authority held an emergency meeting with health officials.Waqf members decided to “suspend the entry of worshippers starting from Friday afternoon [September 18] for a period of three weeks”.last_img read more

World leaders must do their bit in climate change fight, say investors

first_imgSource: European ParliamentCelebrating the European Parliament signing the Paris Agreement“We are concerned that the implementation of the Paris Agreement is currently falling short of the agreed goal of ‘holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels’,” they added.Investors were continuing to make “significant” investments in the low carbon transition, incorporating climate change scenarios and climate risk management strategies into their investment processes, and engaging with the largest greenhouse gas emitters, but governments needed to act too, according to the statement.“It is vital for our long-term planning and asset allocation decisions that governments work closely with investors to incorporate Paris-aligned climate scenarios into their policy frameworks and energy transition pathways,” it read.Emma Herd, CEO of the Investor Group on Climate Change, one of the campaign groups organising the statement, said: “Investors could do even more if governments delivered the policies required to effectively manage climate risk and accelerate investment in low carbon solutions.”Investors signing the statement asked world leaders to take 12 actions, grouped under the headings of “achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement”, “accelerate private sector investment into the low carbon transition”, and “commit to improve climate-related financial reporting”.The investors’ demands included that government leaders this year formulate and communicate long-term emission reduction strategies, put a meaningful price on carbon, phase out fossil fuel subsidies and thermal power worldwide by set deadlines, and request international standard-setting bodies to incorporate the recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures into their standards. “The global shift to clean energy is underway, but much more needs to be done by governments to accelerate the low carbon transition and to improve the resilience of our economy, society and the financial system to climate risks,” they wrote in the joint statement. Institutional investors active in the fight against climate change have turned the spotlight on governments, demanding world leaders to do their part “with the utmost urgency”.The call to action was issued ahead of the G7 summit in Canada later this week. By Friday, almost 300 investors with $26trn (€22trn) in assets under management had put their name to a statement delivered to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and G7 government leaders.It forms part of a new stage in investors’ involvement in the campaign to cap further greenhouse gas emissions, with emphasis increasingly being placed on the need for concrete action and targets to make the low carbon transition a reality, rather than just disclosure about financial implications.The focus has been on companies, with a shareholder resolution having recently focused attention on Royal Dutch Shell in particular, but with today’s statement investors have sought to put pressure on politicians.last_img read more