PA daily op-ed: Notre Dame fire is same as “Zionist invasions that desecrate” the Al-Aqsa Mosque
Headline: "The paradox of Notre Dame and the Al-Aqsa Mosque"
"The fire in the historic Notre Dame Cathedral - the most important artistic creation and tourist monument in France – on the evening of April 15  that continued into the early hours of the morning on [April] 16, that continued for 13 hours, was an event that shook France and the world…
This brings something else to mind – the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest place for Islam and the First Direction of Prayer, is being subjected to fire, daily Zionist invasions that desecrate it, and excavations under and around it (sic., Israel does not excavate under the Temple Mount; see note below) that are exposing it to direct daily destruction and danger. The eternal Palestinian capital, Jerusalem in which are located the honorable mosque, the Church of the Sepulchre, which is more important than the Notre Dame Cathedral, and many mosques, churches, and monasteries that are also being subjected to open looting, theft, expropriation, and colonialist settlement by the Israeli colonialist state, and with unprecedented support from the present American administration and also the Zionist tycoons."
The PA and its leaders consider all of the Temple Mount an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Therefore they view any presence of Jews on the mount as an “invasion” or a "break-in." It should be noted that Jews who visit the Temple Mount only enter some sections of the open areas, and do not enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock. Israeli police ban Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount because of threats of violence by Palestinians.
Excavations under the Temple Mount - The Israeli daily Haaretz has stated that the excavations do not reach beneath the mosque: "Despite complaints from the Islamic Movement and Palestinian groups, not a single dig penetrates beneath the [Temple] Mount." [Haaretz, May 24, 2016]
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