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"The Muslims have the absolute right" to the Western Wall - PA denial of Jewish history persists

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |

  • Fatah spokesman: “We will defend our Al-Aqsa Mosque and our holy sites, and we will not allow them to violate them … whatever the cost may be.’"

A filler between programs on official PA TV taught Palestinian viewers that the most holy site for Jews – the Western Wall – belongs only to Muslims. Referring to the wall with its Muslim name, the Al-Buraq Wall, PA TV explained that it is an Islamic waqf - an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law, and therefore Jews have no rights to it.

Official PA TV narrator: The historical documents in the possession of the Palestinians of Jerusalem testify that Jerusalem is a city of Arab origin for thousands of years, and its history and culture are Islamic. Since Islam's conquest [in the 7th century], the Al-Buraq Wall (i.e., the Western Wall) has remained an Islamic waqf. The Muslims have the absolute right to it and there is not even one rock there that dates back to the period of King Solomon, as the Jews claim.”

[Official PA TV, Nov. 29, 2019]

The director of the Palestinian NGO the Land Research Center repeated this PA libel, stating that the Jewish Temple never existed and that all Jewish history is “a false narrative”:

Director of Land Research Center Jamal Al-Amleh: “It is known that [the Jews] have nothing in Jerusalem and Hebron. All archaeological excavations- even the Jewish archaeologists themselves have proven that there is no existence of their state in this country, no existence of the Temple on the mountain where the Al-Aqsa Mosque is built. All of their history and narrative is a false narrative.”

 [Official PA TV, Reporters in the Field, Dec. 30, 2019]

The Land Research Center received funding from the EU’s Peacebuilding Initiative Program from 2016-2019, according to NGO Monitor.

Palestinian Media Watchhas exposed numerous statements by PA leaders, religious officials, academics, and others, who, ignoring the irrefutable evidence of the anceint state of Judea, continue to lie to Palestinians saying that Jews have no history in Jerusalem or in the land of Israel. The PA Minister of Culture has asserted that Israel has "no connection" to Jerusalem, history, geography or even to the future. A university lecturer later echoed this claim, stating that Jews were never in “Palestine” but came “as invaders 70 years ago.” 

The PA also refers to visits by Jews on the Temple Mount as “invasions” or “break-ins” during which the Jews “defile” the Islamic holy site. Having denied Jewish history at the site, and having instilled fear in Palestinians that their holy site is in danger and is being defiled, the PA and Fatah call on Palestinians to come and “defend” the Al-Aqsa Mosque – possibly with violence, and even with their lives –whatever the cost may be”:

“Movement Spokesman Iyad Nasr noted… ‘We will defend our Al-Aqsa Mosque and our holy sites, and we will not allow them to violate themand pass the occupation's plots that strive to divide the holy city [of Jerusalem] by areas, and times (i.e., a proposed Israeli law that would allow both Jews and Muslims to pray at the Temple Mount –Ed.), whatever the cost may be.’"

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 18, 2020]

The following is a longer excerpt of the statement by Fatah’s spokesman:

Headline: "Fatah and the [PA] Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the occupation's invasion of the Al-Aqsa Mosque"

"The Fatah Movement emphasized that the Israeli occupation forces' invasion of the Al-Aqsa Mosque yesterday, Friday [Jan. 17, 2020], in the early morning is an obvious violation of the Islamic holy sites, under clear American cover and with no deterrent. [Fatah] Movement Spokesman Iyad Nasrnoted yesterday, Friday, that this is a real war and ethnic cleansing against our Palestinian people, its land, and its holy sites. However, [the war] will not succeed in stealing from our people its will to remain and its standing firm on its land. He added: 'We will defend our Al-Aqsa Mosque and our holy sites, and we will not allow them to violate them and pass the occupation's plots that strive to divide the holy city [of Jerusalem] by areas, and times (referring to a proposed Israeli law that would allow both Jews and Muslims to pray at the Temple Mount. The law does not refer to any other part of Jerusalem –Ed.), whatever the cost may be.’"

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 18, 2020]

The Western Wall – is a small remnant of the large retaining wall built by King Herod to support the Temple Mount of the Second Temple. It is not connected to Solomon’s Temple as PA TV claims. There are no known remains of the First Temple itself, but many artifacts from the First Temple period including many stamps with the names of Biblical figures have been found in the vicinity of the Western Wall and the City of David in Jerusalem. The Temple Mount including the Western Wall is Judaism’s holiest site.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority does not carry out archeological excavations on or under the Temple Mount itself due to Muslim sensitivities.

The PA and its leaders misrepresent all of the Temple Mount as an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Therefore they vilify 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.

"Division according to areas and times" refers to a proposed law (May 2013) being reviewed in Israeli Parliament that would allow for both Jews and Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount, what the Palestinians call the Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza. The law seeks to designate separate prayer times and areas of the site for Muslims and Jews. However, Israeli PM Netanyahu has stated on many occasions that the Israeli government has no intention of ‎changing the status quo on the Temple Mount, which means Jews are allowed to enter the Temple Mount, but cannot pray there or engage in any type of worship.

The Al-Buraq Wall - Islam's Prophet Muhammad is said to have ridden during his Night Journey from Mecca to "al aqsa mosque", i.e., "the farthest mosque" (Quran, Sura 17), and there tied his miraculous flying steed named Al-Buraq to a "stone" or a "rock." (Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Book 47, Hadith 3424). In the 1920's, Arab Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini decided to identify the Western Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem as that "rock" or "stone," and since then Muslims refer to the Western Wall as the "Al-Buraq Wall."