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PA Religious Affairs Minister: Israel is planning “the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the establishment of their [Jews’] alleged Temple;” PA Mufti: Israel wants to “Judaize” Jerusalem

Headline: “Ida’is and the [PA] mufti warn that the excavations underneath the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque are disastrous”
     “[PA] Minister of Religious Affairs Yusuf Ida’is said that the occupation’s actions in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque are a dangerous violation… the last of which being the excavations that the occupation institutions are conducting underneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque (sic., Israel does not excavate under the Temple Mount; see note below –Ed.). He added that these excavations threaten its structures, plazas, and the lives of the members of our people who visit it… Ida’is emphasized the severity of the recent developments in the Israeli violations against the Al-Aqsa Mosque. He noted that this requires a Palestinian, Islamic, and international position appropriate to the violations, which are advancing in a systematic and planned manner up to the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the establishment of their alleged Temple… On the same matter, [PA] Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories, preacher at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, [and Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council Chairman] Muhammad Hussein warned that the excavations that the occupation authorities are conducting in the region of the Umayyad palaces… are disastrous. He predicted that all of the Islamic structures in the region would be undermined, and afterwards would be destroyed in order to change the holy city’s identity and completely Judaize it. Mufti Hussein noted in a statement yesterday [July 17, 2018] that the occupation authorities are pretending to search for the foundations of their alleged Temple, and emphasized that this is becoming most dangerous for the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
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The Israeli daily Haaretz has stated that the excavations do not reach beneath the mosque: "The diggers are painstaking to respect the dignity of the Temple Mount. Despite complaints from the Islamic Movement and Palestinian groups, not a single dig penetrates beneath the mount." [Haaretz, May 24, 2016]

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