Palestinians condemn “invasion” of the Temple Mount by Jews on Jewish day of mourning commemorating “so-called destruction of the alleged Temple”
Headline: "Tens of thousands held Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in an atmosphere of tension and extremism on the part of the occupation"
"Tens of thousands of worshippers held Friday prayers yesterday [Aug. 16, 2019] at the Al-Aqsa Mosque plazas despite a rise in temperature and an escalation of the occupation forces steps at its gates and within the neighborhoods of the Old City [of Jerusalem] (refers to temporary closure of the Temple Mount after two Palestinian terrorists stabbed an Israeli policeman near the site on Aug. 15, 2019; see note below –Ed.).
Sheikh Ismail Nawahdah said in his sermon: 'Allah has honored us with this blessed land, the land of [Prophet Muhammad's] Night Journey and Ascension to Heaven, with the existence of the holy land, the land of Ribat (i.e., religious conflict over land claimed to be Islamic) until the Day of Judgment, and He has honored Jerusalem with the existence of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque that is considered part of the fundaments of our faith and religion – and it is a symbol of our honor.'
Sheikh Nawahdah condemned the daily invasions of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque plazas under the protection of the occupation police to the point that it reached the invasion of herds of settlers on the first day of Eid Al-Adha (i.e., the Sacrifice Feast) and their attack against the worshippers, guards, and Jerusalem Directorate of Religion (i.e., branch of the PA Ministry of Religious Affairs) workers and their expulsion under the threat of weapons and stun grenades by the occupation police, and their being prevented from holding their religious ceremonies, while [commemorating] the so-called destruction of the alleged Temple (refers to Jews entering the Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av – which fell
on the same day as the first day of Eid Al-Adha this year – and Israel's response to Muslim riots meant to bar them from the Temple Mount; see note below –Ed.).
An atmosphere of heavy tension prevails in Jerusalem after the arbitrary and provocative Israeli steps against the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to completely take control of it."
Nassim Abu Roumi and Hamouda Al-Sheikh – 14-year-old Palestinian terrorists who stabbed and wounded an Israeli police officer at the Chain Gate of the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem on Aug. 15, 2019. Abu Roumi and Al-Sheikh were shot and killed during the attack; a Waqf guard bystander was wounded by the gunfire.
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 2019 – Muslims rioted on the Temple Mount on Aug. 11, 2019, for the express purpose of preventing Jews from going up to the site on Tisha B'Av (see note below), and were explicitly incited to do so by PA leaders such as PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash, who two days prior posted a call on his Facebook page for Muslims in Jerusalem to postpone their holiday observance to the second day of the holiday so that "people will be available to carry out Ribat at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to resist the Israeli plan to invade the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the first day of the holiday (i.e. Tisha B' Av)," adding "Our mosque is our Ribat and the Al-Aqsa Mosque is our Jihad."
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.