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PA minister: Israel is “striving to harm the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque… in order to establish its alleged Temple on its ruins”

Headline: "A Palestinian minister: The Israeli occupation is striving for the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque"

"[PA] Minister of Religious Affairs Yusuf Ida’is said that the situation in the holy city [of Jerusalem] and at the Al-Aqsa Mosque has become very dangerous in light of the fact that the Israeli occupation authorities are continuing their racist acts and Judaization operations against the mosque and the city.

Ida'is added in exclusive statements to the [United Arab Emirates news website] 24: 'The Israeli government is striving to harm the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, to carry out the plan for the division [of the mosque] according to areas, and afterwards to destroy it, in order to establish its alleged Temple on its ruins.' He emphasized that Israel is attempting to create facts on the ground.

Ida'is clarified that the racist acts of the Israeli occupation are meant to erase the historical Arab and Islamic presence in occupied Jerusalem, ahead of implementing all of its settlement and colonialist plans against occupied Jerusalem."

Division according to areas and times” refers to a submission of a “private bill” by Israeli MP Uri Ariel in March 2003. The bill suggested ensuring freedom of religious worship by allowing both Jews and Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount - what the Palestinians call the Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza. The bill sought to designate separate prayer times and areas of the site for Muslims and Jews. The bill never progressed past the initial legislatory stage. While there was additional discussion on the subject in 2012, no legislation was ever passed. In response to the incessant PA claims that the “division according to areas and times” of the Temple Mount is an operative Israeli plan, former Israeli PM Netanyahu stated on many occasions that the Israeli government has no intention of ‎changing the so-called status quo on the Temple Mount, which de facto is interpreted to mean Jews are only allowed to enter the Temple Mount, but not to conduct individual or communal prayers there. In July 2021, Israeli PM Naftali Bennett said Muslims and Jews have freedom of worship at the Temple Mount, which was understood by many as a hint to changing the status quo at the site, but the following day his office backtracked and said he misspoke and did not mean Jews would have freedom of worship, but rather would have freedom to visit. “There is no change in the status quo,” a statement from PM Bennett’s office confirmed.y type of worship.