PA Mufti: Calls to carry out Jewish prayer on Temple Mount are “dangerous” and may lead to religious war
Headline: "The [PA] mufti: The occupation's calls to hold Talmudic ceremonies at the Al-Aqsa Mosque herald a religious war"
"[PA] Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories and Al-Aqsa Mosque preacher Muhammad Hussein condemned the statements of the so-called 'Israeli Minister of Public Security’ [Gilad Erdan], who called to allow Jews to hold religious ceremonies at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque (refers to comments regarding freedom of worship at the Temple Mount for all religions; see note below –Ed.). This was in the shadow of a significant increase in the number of settlers invading the mosque every day.
He warned yesterday [Oct. 13, 2019] in a statement against the consequences of Chairman of the Israeli Parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee [and MP] Avi Dichter's statements regarding the attempts of two Jewish organizations to carry out armed attacks against the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, whether by launching a rocket towards the mosque or by sending an exploding aircraft (sic., Dichter spoke about two groups that planned to attack the mosque in the past, not current groups, and warned against such attempts)…
The mufti explained that these statements are dangerous and irresponsible, and are leading the region and the entire world towards an inevitable religious conflict, which we do not wish for. He noted that any harm to the faith and holy sites constitutes contempt for the peoples’ and nations’ rights, and that it will bring nothing but destruction and ruin to anyone who tells himself that an invalid promise, just some baseless dream, or an obsolete tale is likely to fulfill occupation colonialist aspirations for him...
[The mufti] emphasized that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is Islamic, despite the attempts of its hate-filled enemies to take it over and change the status quo that has existed in Jerusalem since the occupation of the city in June 1967."
Muhammad Hussein also holds the positions of Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council Chairman, and Deputy Secretary-General and acting Secretary-General of the PLO Popular National Conference of Jerusalem.
In an interview with Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon published on Oct. 13, 2019, Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan spoke about freedom of worship on the Temple Mount for all religions. In response to a question as to whether there might be freedom of worship for Jews there, Erdan said: "I am certain there will be, God willing. It cannot be otherwise… We will reach this goal when a lot more Jews want to visit the [Temple] Mount, and in this way the demand will be created that I hope and pray will come – that while balancing the international interests, we will apply the necessary pressure to change the historical status quo that unfortunately discriminates against Jews on the Mount… This is a distorted situation and the aspiration must be to correct it. I believe the time will come when it will be corrected."
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.