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PA, Fatah officials accuse Israel of trying to “Judaize” and destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque

Headline: "Figures in Jerusalem: We will not let the occupation turn our holy sites into a test field for pleasing the settlers because of election considerations"

"Figures in Jerusalem, led by District Governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith, [PA] Minister of Jerusalem Affairs [and PLO Executive Committee member] Adnan Al-Husseini, and Fatah Movement Secretary in Jerusalem Shadi Mattour, emphasized that the occupation is striving to gradually change the historical and legal reality at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque through the recurring and escalating invasions of the extremist settlers and the Israeli occupation forces…

District Governor Ghaith said that the occupation is investing efforts to impose a policy of a new status quo in occupied Jerusalem in general, and to change the status quo at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in particular. This is not new to us, as the occupation government has been striving for a long time to divide it according to areas and times, and to give the settlers a free hand to carry out more widespread invasions of the mosque led by [Israeli] ministers and parliament members, in a manner that is provocative and contradicts all the regulations, conventions, and agreements with the Kingdom of Jordan.

He added that the Israeli extremist right-wing government is attempting from time to time to invent all kinds of causes that target our holy sites in order to please the settlers out of Israeli election considerations, and which include harming the faithful and the protectors of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and invading the roofed prayer areas. This shows the occupation’s clear intention to divide the Al-Aqsa Mosque by areas too, after its division by times. Ghaith explained that our people is viewing what is happening at the Al-Aqsa Mosque very gravely, and will not let the occupation turn the holy sites into a test field to take the pulse of the Jerusalem street. This is because the entire Al-Aqsa Mosque belongs only to the Muslims according to UN and UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) resolutions. The occupation government’s interference at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the attempt to reduce the role of the [Jordanian] Waqf, and the large extent of distancing [Palestinians] from the area of the Al-Aqsa Mosque confirm the occupation government’s intentions to storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Judaize it…

Ghaith noted that the occupation government and its branches have not spared efforts to excavate tunnels and damage the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque buildings, and the placing of scaffolding at the Western Wall is nothing but part of the attempts to Judaize the Al-Aqsa Mosque. These, along with the excavation underneath it (sic., Israel does not excavate under the Temple Mount; see note below), all constitute dangerous signs of what is liable to happen to the Al-Aqsa Mosque buildings that are in danger of collapsing due to the excavations – and this is after some ancient trees within the mosque [compound] have already collapsed because of them. Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Adnan Al-Husseini said that that [the invasions] occurred yesterday [Jan. 17, 2019] are a confirmation of the occupation imposing its rule over Jerusalem, and that ‘they want to convey a message that they are in control of the situation at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and are occupying it.’ 

He added that a [firm] Arab Islamic position is required as the mosque is Islamic and not just Palestinian, and not defending the mosque means its Judaization, it being turned into a Jewish synagogue, and its destruction.”

Adnan Al-Husseini also holds the position of head of the PLO Department of Jerusalem Affairs.

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.

Excavations under the Temple Mount - The Israeli daily Haaretz has stated 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]

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