PA Mufti adds impromptu prayer to prevent Jews exercising right to visit Temple Mount
Official PA TV, Holiday Morning
Official PA TV reporter: "Viewers, we will now try to reach [PA Grand] Mufti of Jerusalem [and Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council Chairman] Sheikh Muhammad Hussein. Your Honor, Sheikh, could you explain for us-"
Man: "We want to pray."
Reporter: "They are now praying. His Honor the mufti is now holding prayers in front of the Mughrabi Gate. As he just told us, the prayer in front of the Mughrabi Gate is an act of protest...
How do you explain the prayer being held now - the afternoon prayer now? Is this a scene of protest in response to the intent of the occupation and herds of settlers to break in [to the Al-Aqsa Mosque] (refers to Jews visiting the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av on Aug. 11, 2019, which coincided with the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha; see note below -Ed.)?"
Al-Aqsa Mosque "guard" Fadi Alyan: "Of course the Muslims are taking different steps to prevent the break-ins to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque. Of course [this is] the late morning prayer (i.e., not a mandatory prayer), and not the afternoon [prayer]. Strange sights are taking place at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, both the postponement of the holiday prayer by an hour (i.e., from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. in order to block Jews from visiting), and holding the late morning prayer."
Reporter: "In other words, the prayers are being held at a different time than usual in order to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque?"
Fadi Alyan: "Exactly. The prayers are being held at a different time than usual in order to defend [it] and reinforce that this site belongs completely to the Muslims."
Mulim Eid Al-Adha holiday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque were postponed on Aug. 11, 2019, by an hour from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., in order to block Jews from visiting the Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av.
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.
Tisha B'Av - Jewish day of mourning commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem (586 BCE and 70 CE) and the forced exile of most of the Jewish people from the land of Israel.
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