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PA leaders deny existence of "alleged Temple" in Jerusalem; claim Israel plans to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque

Video posted on the Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture

Video:

The video is from Fatah-run Awdah TV.

PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein: “They [Israelis] think that the time is completely right to realize and pass their plans and goals at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which are an imposition of a new reality at the mosque in terms of a division of areas (see note below -Ed.)… There is an attack against the existence of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. There are calls to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and establish the alleged Temple in its place. This became clear on the anniversary of what they call the memorial day of the so-called destruction of the alleged Temple (i.e., Tisha B’Av; see note below)...”

PA Presidential Office Advisor Ahmed Al-Ruweidi: “They want… to impose a reality on the Al-Aqsa Mosque at this stage, and as a result of this to divide it in terms of areas and times on the way to establishing the alleged Temple that they speak about. Currently, there is a decision in the occupation government on the matter. Therefore,the sight we are seeing [Jews visiting the Temple Mount] reminds us of what happened in 1967 when East Jerusalem was occupied with the entry of an Israeli force from the Lions’ Gate to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the waving of the Israeli flag on the Dome of the Rock. This same exact sight is repeating itself… as they think that this is the best stage for establishing the alleged Temple that they speak about, and thus to tie what is happening at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque to the concept of ‘the capital of the Jewish people in the world,’ which they are clearly speaking about…

(Al-Ruweidi speaks about Israel developing archaeological sites from the biblical period in Jerusalem- Ed.)

All of this indicates that this area is a Jewish religious area as it were, and we have no right there. In any case, our position is clear: This is our land, this is our mosque, the Al-Aqsa Mosque with its full territory of 144 dunams (i.e., the entire Temple Mount), and it is an exclusive right of the Muslims and no one shares this with them.

Many days ago we began working on the international level in conversations with diplomatic representatives here in Jerusalem, and we told them clearly: ‘What is happening at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque is laying the groundwork for a religious war that will reach your area, your countries, because this mosque is part of the central faith of the Muslims, in other words, 1.8 billion Muslims in the world.’”

Muhammad Hussein also serves as Deputy Secretary-General and acting Secretary-General of the PLO Popular National Conference of Jerusalem.

Israeli peace agreements with the UAE and Bahrain – an agreement normalizing diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), called the Abraham Accords, was announced on Aug. 13, 2020, under the mediation of US President Donald Trump. Following the UAE, Bahrain signed a similar peace agreement with Israel, as was announced on Sept. 11, 2020. Pursuant to the Abraham Accords, Israel and the UAE will discuss bilateral cooperation on a number of topics. In exchange for the agreement, Israel agreed to suspend its previously announced plans to apply Israel's civilian law to parts of Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley as per the Trump peace plan. The US announced that “Muslims throughout the world who wish to come in peace to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, will now be able to fly to Tel Aviv through Abu Dhabi to do so and will be welcomed.”

"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.

Tisha B'Av - Jewish day of mourning commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem (586 BCE and 70 CE) and the forced exile of most of the Jewish people from the land of Israel.