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PA news agency falsely claims Jew set fire to Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969; “Since before the arson and to this day the Israeli occupation authorities attempt by all means and ways to harm the mosque” and are “Judaizing Jerusalem”

Headline: “The 50th anniversary of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque arson”

“Today, Wednesday, Aug. 21 [2019], is the 50th anniversary of the arson of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969. On this sad day the Jew (sic., Christian) with Australian citizenship, terrorist Michael Denis [Rohan], came to deliberately set the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque on fire – the Muslims’ First Direction of Prayer and the site where [Allah’s] Messenger Muhammad, Allah’s prayer and blessing upon him, made his Night Journey. The fire completely destroyed important parts of it…

Since before the Al-Aqsa Mosque arson and to this day the Israeli occupation authorities attempt by all means and ways to harm the mosque by excavating underneath it (sic., Israel does not excavate under the Temple Mount) to the point of excavating tunnels that continue from one to another, which has led to the collapse of the mosque’s foundations in the Jerusalem Noble Sanctuary (i.e., the Temple Mount) compound (sic., see note below on claims of damage caused by excavations). The occupation authorities are still investing efforts in Judaizing Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine.”

Michael Rohan - Australian Christian with a mental health disorder who set fire to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969. For years, the Palestinian Authority has falsely accused Israel of setting the fire.

Claims that Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem are endangered by excavations, including excavations under the Temple Mount - The PA regularly claims that Israeli archaeological excavations in Jerusalem endanger Arab residents and their neighborhoods, and that Israel excavates under the Temple Mount, thereby endangering the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Regarding the Temple Mount claim, the Israeli daily Haaretz has reported 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] As for claims that Israeli excavations endanger Arab residents of Jerusalem and their neighborhoods, and particularly of Silwan – a predominantly Arab neighborhood near the Old City of Jerusalem, built above the ruins of ancient Jerusalem – the Israeli Supreme Court has rejected several such petitions. These petitions targeted excavations in the City of David archaeological site, which have been conducted for around 50 years and unearthed a multitude of artifacts, proving the Jewish presence in the city from the First Temple period that began in approximately 1000 BCE. Israeli Supreme Court Justice Edna Arbel responded to one petition (High Court of Justice file 9252/080) against the excavations by saying: “The [Arab] petitioners did not present any evidence that would substantiate a connection between the excavations and the damages that were allegedly caused to their homes… It had been made clear that the excavation work… was being done under the supervision and accompaniment of professionals.” In a separate ruling (High Court of Justice file 1308/08), Arbel said: “Notwithstanding the claims of the petitioners, it was explained that the work is being done under professional engineering supervision and as part of an approved construction plan… The work is performed with the accompaniment and supervision of professionals, not as the petitioners claim, and it is clear that these professionals are not only concerned about the completion of the work… but also are aware of their obligation to make sure the work is done in a way that will not harm the petitioners, their family members, or their property.” According to reports, many Arab residents of Silwan even worked on the excavations until threats from the PA and Hamas forced them to stop. Source:

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