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PA: excavations underneath Al-Aqsa Mosque will lead to religious war

“Supreme Shari’ah Judge and [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas’ Personal Advisor Mahmoud Al-Habbash warned that if the occupation government and the settler organizations that are subordinate to it continue to desecrate the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to carry out excavations underneath its walls and plazas (sic., Israel does not excavate under the Temple Mount; see note below), this will ignite a religious war that will destroy everything in the region and the world. In order to prevent this, he demanded that urgent international activity be undertaken to stop the occupation state’s violations that threaten the structures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque (i.e., in the Temple Mount compound).

In a press release today, Tuesday [June 16, 2020], Al-Habbash emphasized that Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque are the heart of every Muslim in the world, and that no one will ever agree to have any evil befall them. He emphasized that the Israeli excavations – which are continuing in order to open a tunnel underneath the Mughrabi Gate and the Al-Buraq Wall (i.e., the Western Wall of the Temple Mount) into the plazas of the Jerusalem Noble Sanctuary at the beginning of next month [July 2020] – are being conducted at a quick pace through the historical canals, which greatly threatens the mosque’s foundations.

He also said that the excavations underneath the Jerusalem Noble Sanctuary are targeting the historical and cultural character of the holy city through works of clearing and demolishing the ancient Umayyad palaces and canals at the site. He demanded that UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) seriously and effectively fulfill its role and defend the Islamic heritage and culture. This is in accordance with the resolutions that it has passed in the past, which consider Jerusalem and its Noble Sanctuary as a purely Islamic heritage to which those who are not Muslim have no right at all.

Al-Habbash emphasized that the Palestinian people will not allow the execution of the Israeli plots whose goal is to harm the blessed mosque or its eternal Islamic identity, and it will defend its holy sites through all possible means (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror).

Mahmoud Al-Habbash also serves as Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice.

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."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]

The terms “all means,” “all means of resistance,” “all forms,” are ‎used by PA leaders to include using all types of violence, including deadly terror ‎against Israeli civilians such as stabbings and shootings, as well as throwing rocks and Molotov Cocktails.