Topic | Choose topic/s and define your search
Affiliations / Personalities
Sources
Date Range

Muslims will “purify” the Temple Mount and “liberate the land and the people ‎from the defilement of the criminal infidels” says PA preacher

Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |
  • Abbas: Israel is “unleashing the settler herds and their terror groups so that they will sow ruin and destruction and desecrate the holy sites”

  • PA: Jews “defile” and “desecrate” the Al-Aqsa Mosque by visiting the Temple Mount

  • Official PA daily demonizes visits by Jews to the Temple Mount as “plots that are being woven by the settler associations to desecrate the mosque”

  • PA TV: “The defiling of the places of worship by the occupation and its settlers… is being carried out”

  • PA TV: Arab rioters prevent Jews from “desecrating” Jerusalem

When a PA-appointed Shari’ah judge in his sermon recently called to “liberate the land and the people from the defilement of the criminal infidels” – i.e., Israelis/Jews – and prophesied that soon “the nation of Islam will be crowned with the purification of the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” it was not an isolated or unusual antisemitic statement. On the contrary, the PA, its officials, and its media regularly state that “Palestine,” “Jerusalem,” and “the Muslim (and Christian) holy sites” must be “cleansed,” “purified,” and “liberated” from the “defilement” and “desecration” of Jews.

Shari’ah Judge Hatem Al-Bakri: “Mere days stand between us and a new year… in which it is hoped that the nation of truth and justice, the nation of Islam, will have a decisive victory, and that the nation of Islam will be crowned with the purification of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the liberation of the land of [Prophet Muhammad’s] Night Journey… Allah… prepare a man for us who will follow the path of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, who will liberate the land and the people from the defilement of the criminal infidels.”

[Official PA TV, Aug. 6, 2021]

The same message has been voiced by other preachers and PA-nominated Shari’ah judges in sermons during the year, like PA Chairman Abbas’ personal advisor Al-Habbash:

“Supreme Shari’ah Judge of Palestine and [PA] President [Abbas’] Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Dr. Mahmoud Al-Habbash… emphasized… the series of daily crimes that the occupation state is committing against the Jerusalem Noble Sanctuary (i.e., the Temple Mount), … the escalation in the pace of the settlers’ daily invasions [of the mosque], and the desecration of it on baseless pretexts of ‘Jewish religious holidays and festivals.’”

[Donia Al-Watan, independent Palestinian news agency, April 14, 2021]

PA Shari’ah Judge Abdallah Harb in sermon: “The occupation is still making all efforts day and night to Judaize the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in order to defile the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It has harmed the structures, harmed the people, and spread drugs and other things.”

[Official PA TV, April 9, 2021]

The PA Ministry of Religious Affairs and the official PA daily also regularly reinforces the demonization, here both in headline and following text about Jews visiting the Temple Mount:

“In a monthly report the [PA] Ministry of Religious Affairs documented more than 20 invasions of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque [plaza]… It added: ‘The Al-Aqsa Mosque [plaza] was defiled more than 20 times. Invading settlers openly cried and prayed inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque [plaza] because the Temple has not yet been built. In the Old City [of Jerusalem] a number of marches of settlers took place, and the “Temple Organizations” carried a model of the alleged Temple.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 5, 2021]

Headline: “Last month the Al-Aqsa Mosque was defiled 20 times…”

“The [PA] Ministry of Religious Affairs said that the occupation and the settlers defiled the Al-Aqsa Mosque more than 20 times during April [2021].”

[Official PA TV Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 4, 2021]

One of the methods the PA uses to keep violence and terror on the back burner in Palestinian society is hate speech like the above statements. By spreading libels and demonize Israelis and Jews, PA leaders make sure Palestinians are ready to “fight” them. One libel Palestinian Media Watch has proven is effective in making Palestinians use violence is that Israel is said to plan to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to build “the alleged Temple.” That Jews “defile” and “desecrate” Jerusalem, its holy sites, and in particular the Al-Aqsa Mosque is demonization at the highest level, and PA Antisemitism par excellence.

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 – Judaism’s holiest site – as an "invasion," “break-in,” or “incursion.” 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. Regardless, the PA as a rule describes these visits by Jews as a “desecration” or “defilement,” and Jews - “settlers” in PA terminology - are accused of “plotting” against the mosque:

“Al-Aqsa Mosque preacher Sheikh Muhammad Salim… commented in his sermon on the accelerating violations in Jerusalem and the ongoing desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and he emphasized that the mosque belongs only to the Muslims.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 14, 2021]

“The Jerusalem families are continuing for the third Friday [in a row] to come to the Al-Aqsa Mosque to hold the dawn prayers in order to emphasize the sanctity and Islamicness of the site against all the plots that are being woven by the settler associations to desecrate the mosque.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 4, 2021]

PMW has exposed similar statements against Jews’ presence in Jerusalem. For example, rain in Jerusalem has been said to cleanse it of Jews' impurity so Muslims can pray. Likewise, snow has been said “to clean” away the “filth” in Jerusalem, while Abbas called for violence to prevent the “filthy feet” of Jews to “defile” Jerusalem.

Referring to Jews who visited the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av, the official PA daily called it “defilement” in its main headline:

Headline: “The occupation and its settlers defile the Al-Aqsa Mosque and attack worshippers”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 19, 2021]

While the official PA news agency Wafa referred to “the incursion by Israeli occupation forces and settler fanatics into the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound” on Tisha B’Av, PA Prime Minister Shtayyeh “considered the incursions carried out by hundreds of settlers into the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque today, as a serious violation.” [WAFA, official PA news agency, English edition, July 18, 2021]

During the violent Arab riots in Jerusalem and other mixed Jewish-Arab cities in Israel, and while Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired thousands of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israeli population centers during the war in May 2021, PA Chairman Abbas himself stated that Israel was “unleashing the settler herds and their terror groups so that they will sow ruin and destruction and desecrate the holy sites.” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 13, 2021]

A Fatah official echoed this, claiming Jews were “defiling the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque”:

Fatah Jenin Branch Secretary Ata Abu Rmeileh: “The crimes are continuing from the start of the attempt by the occupation and the settler herds to defile the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque… As a Palestinian people all the possibilities are open before us – a comprehensive confrontation with this occupation.”

[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, May 15, 2021]

Right at the outset of the war, a PA TV reporter praised Arab rioters for “preventing” Jews from “desecrating” Jerusalem:

Official PA TV reporter: “What we are actually seeing here in the Damascus Gate area is a firm Jerusalem stand – perseverance in defending this Palestinian city and defending its holy sites against the desecration of the settlers’ feet

Arab protester: “Of course we are going to stop and push back every settler and every fascist who enters our holy sites and defiles them.”

[Official PA TV, May 10, 2021]

When Israel celebrated Jerusalem Day during the Ramadan, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror organization and member of PLO “called on the masses of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem to come out with full force against the settler herds’ plots to invade and desecrate the Al-Aqsa Mosque plazas on the 28th day of Ramadan.” [Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, May 6, 2021]

The same kind of PA hate speech that Jews “defiled” Muslim places of worship was heard on the Israeli Independence Day celebrations:

Official PA TV reporter: The defiling of the places of worship by the occupation and its settlers, in all forms of provocation, is being carried out while ignoring any of the international agreements that determine that the holy sites and places of worship must be protected.”

[Official PA TV News, April 16, 2021]

A few days earlier, the PA’s Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Dr. Laila Ghannam wished for Jerusalem to be “liberated from the occupation’s defilement”:

Posted text: “[Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor] Dr. [Laila] Ghannam sent her blessings to our heroic prisoners and said that our people is following the path of the Martyrs and prisoners until our independent state whose capital is Jerusalem will be established… [Ghannam also wished] that we will celebrate the lighting of the Ramadan torch and the holiday of Easter in Jerusalem when it is liberated from the occupation’s defilement.”

[Facebook page of Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam, April 12, 2021]

The following are longer excerpts of the statements cited above together with additional statements:

The Rightly Guided Caliphs – “the Rashidun” - are in Sunni Islam the first four caliphs who followed after the death of Prophet Muhammad. The Rashidun Caliphate spread Islam beyond Arabia, and captured Persia, SyriaArmenia, Egypt, and Cyprus.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, said today that the Israeli government is tampering with the security and stability of the region, and is dragging the region into a religious war that will burn the entire region.

Abu Rudeineh’s comments came in response to the incursion by Israeli occupation forces and settler fanatics into the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound early today morning, which saw police officers attacking worshipers at the holy site and detaining many of them.

“By continuing its policy of incursions into religious places, as is happening today in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Israel is defying the Palestinian people and disregarding international positions, especially the American position which demanded [Israel] to adhere to the status quo in Jerusalem.”

He said that the attacks on Jerusalem come in the context of the ongoing suspicious attack on the Palestinian national project. “But the national project will not be defeated, and Jerusalem, the independent national decision and the steadfastness of the Palestinian people will preserve the [Palestinian] identity and protect the holy sites.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, English edition, July 18, 2021]

Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh considered the incursions carried out by hundreds of settlers into the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque today, as a serious violation that aims to impose the temporal and spatial division of the mosque.

He called on the international community to urgently intervene to stop these violations given the threat they pose in provoking Muslims feelings, in threatening security, peace, and stability in the region, and in violating established protocols in force at the mosque since the occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel in 1967.

Shtayyeh warned of the dangerous repercussions of the recurrence of such incursions, at a time when Israel continues its policy of persecution, racism, and ethnic cleansing against the original inhabitants of the occupied city, in favor of replacing them with settlers.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, English edition, July 18, 2021]

Fatah Jenin Branch Secretary Ata Abu Rmeileh: “Of course this is an occupation. The crimes are continuing from the start of the attempt by the occupation and the settler herds to defile the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque… As a Palestinian people all the possibilities are open before us – a comprehensive confrontation with this occupation. The events will not stop, they will not stop. There is an organizational decision that was issued by the Fatah Movement in all the areas and regions, in Jenin, in the entire West Bank, in the Gaza Strip, in Jerusalem, and in the 1948 [lands] (i.e., Israel) – all of Palestine today, Palestine is united from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River. The Palestinian people is rising up.

[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, May 15, 2021]

 This statement was made during ongoing violent Arab riots in Jerusalem and other mixed Jewish-Arab cities in Israel, and while Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired thousands of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israeli population centers.

Fatah/Hamas Riot and Rocket War 2021 – On April 30, 2021, facing certain electoral defeat, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas cancelled the first PA elections scheduled in 15 years. Hamas, which expected to win the elections, denounced it as a “coup.” In need of a conflict to divert public discontent, Abbas artificially generated a crisis over Jerusalem. His Fatah party called for "raising the level of confrontation,” and Abbas' spokesman told Palestinians "the battle of all battles is here.” Jerusalem Arabs responded by attacking Jews with rocks and Molotov cocktails. Hamas, Abbas' political rival, could not allow Abbas to lead the battle, so on May 10, 2021, Hamas launched rocket barrages targeting Israeli population centers including Jerusalem. Over the next 11 days, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired over 4,300 rockets into southern and central Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing 9 Israelis and 3 foreign nationals, and wounding hundreds. In response, Israel launched Operation Guardian of the Walls to target Hamas terror leaders and terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Already in mid-April, a planned eviction of some Palestinian families illegally living in Jewish-owned buildings in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem had led to clashes between Palestinian residents and Israeli police. This dispute provided Palestinians with a pretext for violent rioting. Adding to the crisis, Israeli Arabs started rioting throughout Israel, especially in cities with a mixed Jewish and Arab population. Two Jews were murdered and many were wounded. According to Walla, an independent Israeli news site, 10 synagogues were wholly or partly burned down; fires were set in 112 Jewish homes and 1 Arab home mistaken for a Jewish home; 386 Jewish homes were plundered and 673 were damaged; 849 cars were set ablaze; and there were 5,018 rock-throwing attacks. In response, Jews started attacking Arabs and their properties as well, but on a much smaller scale. No mosques were burned; 13 Arab homes were damaged; 13 Arab-owned cars were burned; and there were 41 rock-throwing attacks by Jews. [Walla, May 16, 2021] The fighting between Israel and Hamas ended with a ceasefire on May 21, 2021.

Headline: “The [PA] president: We’ll act at all levels out of commitment to our national responsibility and we will continue to do what can be done to defend our people”

“[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas… said in his speech during the leadership meeting that was held at the [PA] presidential headquarters in Ramallah yesterday evening [May 12, 2021]: ‘Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the State of Palestine and it has no replacement. We salute its residents who are carrying out Ribat (i.e., religious conflict over land claimed to be Islamic) there. We salute the heroic young people of Palestine who are the pride of the homeland and the people.

These are the ones of whom we are proud and we stand as a sign of honor for their struggle, while they are defending Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, all of Palestine, and particularly the Gaza Strip as well with their bare chests and their hearts that are beating with love for Jerusalem, Palestine, and the sincere affiliation with them…

The occupation state wants to impose colonialist facts on the ground in Jerusalem and in all the land of our homeland, and for this purpose it is carrying out a crazy war, war crimes, and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian presence and the Arab and Islamic identity of our capital Jerusalem by stealing homes and real estate and unleashing the settler herds and their terror groups so that they will sow ruin and destruction and desecrate the holy sites.

But our proud heroic people and our young people who are carrying out Ribat in Jerusalem and its surroundings and everywhere there is an Arab, Muslim, or free person, has come out against this with its full heroism through its brave popular resistance (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror) to the occupation’s aggression against the Damascus Gate [of Jerusalem’s Old City], the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre…

In conclusion, I direct my words particularly to the US and Israel: We have had enough! Leave us alone! Get off our chests, get off our chests! We’ll continue to be a thorn in your sides and we won’t leave our homeland, we won’t leave our land. End the occupation of our land today. Today and not tomorrow…

If you want peace, if you want security, if you want calm, it will not come by force of weapons or oppression; it will not come in these ways. Let us reach a compromise. We will not suffer what we have been suffering any longer, and we will not be more tolerant than we have been, rather we will stand firmer and firmer and firmer than how we have stood, until we reach victory and liberation, and until we end the occupation of all our occupied land, and foremost among it Jerusalem.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 13, 2021]

The terms "peaceful uprising/resistance,” and “popular uprising/resistance" are used by PA leaders at times to refer to peaceful protest and at times to refer to deadly terror attacks and terror waves. For example, ‎Mahmoud Abbas defined as “peaceful popular” the murderous terror during the 2015-2016 ‎terror wave (“The Knife Intifada”), in which 40 people were killed (36 Israelis, 1 Palestinian, 2 Americans and 1 Eritrean) and hundreds wounded in stabbings, shootings, and car ramming attacks. Abbas said: "We want peaceful popular uprising, and that’s what this is." https://palwatch.org/page/9276

Official PA TV reporter: “What we are actually seeing here in the Damascus Gate area is a firm Jerusalem stand – perseverance in defending this Palestinian city and defending its holy sites against the desecration of the settlers’ feet”…

Arab protester: “Of course we are going to stop and push back every settler and every fascist who enters our holy sites and defiles them.”

[Official PA TV, May 10, 2021]

Official PA TV broadcast this during ongoing violent Arab riots in Jerusalem and other mixed Jewish-Arab cities in Israel, and while Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired thousands of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israeli population centers. 

Headline: “The Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] calls to escalate the resistance”

“The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) called on the masses of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem to come out with full force against the settler herds’ plots to invade and desecrate the Al-Aqsa Mosque plazas on the 28th day of Ramadan (refers to Jerusalem Day celebrations -Ed.)…

The PFLP again emphasized its call that the West Bank must fulfill its role in aiding the current popular uprising in Jerusalem (refers to ongoing violent Arab riots -Ed.) by escalating the situation of resistance and the popular confrontation against the occupation and settlers and must turn the areas of friction into arenas of open confrontation. The PFLP praised the state of popular solidarity in order to defend the resistance fighters who carried out the Tapuach (Zatara) [parentheses in source] checkpoint operation (refers to terror attack, 1 murdered -Ed.) through the heroic resistance against the occupation army’s invasions of the cities and villages, the initiative to aid in hiding the tracks of the resistance fighters, and the burning of the vehicle that may have been used in the operation.”

[Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, May 6, 2021]

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) - a socialist Palestinian terror organization and one of the largest factions in the PLO. Founded by George Habash in 1967, PFLP has planned and carried out numerous terror attacks against Israeli civilians since its founding and throughout the PA terror campaign (the second Intifada, 2000-2005). One of its most high profile attacks was the murder of Israeli Minister of Tourism Rehavam Ze'evi on Oct. 17, 2001. PFLP has been designated as a terror organization by several states including the US, Japan, Canada, Australia, and the EU.Terrorist prisoner Ahmad Sa’adat has served as PFLP’s secretary-general since 2001; he is serving a 30-year sentence in an Israeli prison for heading the PFLP.

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." 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.

Yehuda Gueta, Benaya Peretz, and Amichai Hala - three 19-year-old Israeli students who were wounded by Palestinian terrorist Muntasir Shalabi in a drive-by shooting attack at the Tapuach Junction near Ariel in the northern West Bank on May 2, 2021. Gueta died of his wounds and Peretz was seriously wounded in the attack. Shalabi was arrested on May 5, 2021.

Official PA TV newsreader: “Settlers held noisy music and dance parties around the Ibrahimi Mosque (i.e., Cave of the Patriarchs) and its plazas for so-called [Israeli] Independence Day, and this was in an attempt to provoke the feelings of the [Arab] residents during the distinguished month [of Ramadan]…

Official PA TV reporter: “The defiling of the places of worship by the occupation and its settlers, in all forms of provocation, is being carried out while ignoring any of the international agreements that determine that the holy sites and places of worship must be protected.”

[Official PA TV News, April 16, 2021]

Headline: “Al-Habbash in response to the Israeli attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque: A religious war is coming, no one will be spared by it”

“Supreme Shari’ah Judge of Palestine and [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas’] Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Dr. Mahmoud Al-Habbash condemned the new crime that the occupation police committed this evening (sic., yesterday) [April 13, 2021], when it invaded the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque during the evening prayers and the Tarawih (additional nighttime prayers during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan -Ed.) on the first day of the month of Ramadan and cut the electrical cords of the mosque’s minarets. This prevented the sounding of the call to prayer through the loudspeakers (the loudspeakers were apparently cut to avoid disturbances during the official Israeli Memorial Day ceremony held at the Western Wall Plaza below; Muslims responded by rioting and throwing rocks, wounding 6 -Ed.).

The supreme Shari’ah judge emphasized that this crime joins the series of daily crimes that the occupation state is committing against the Jerusalem Noble Sanctuary (i.e., the Temple Mount), … the escalation in the pace of the settlers’ daily invasions [of the mosque], and the desecration of it on baseless pretexts of ‘Jewish religious holidays and festivals.’

Al-Habbash called on the international community and the UN bodies, foremost among them UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), to take steps to defend the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque with all its structures and plazas, and foremost among them the Al-Buraq Wall (i.e., the Western Wall of the Temple Mount), as these international organizations have confirmed in numerous resolutions that the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque is a purely Islamic site, and non-Muslims have no right to it. He also warned that the continued embarrassing silence of the international community over the occupation’s crimes in Jerusalem, and especially at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, will lead us all into the furnace of a religious war, which is imminent. He added that no one will be spared from its fire, and that not only the Palestinians will pay its price.”

[Donia Al-Watan, independent Palestinian news agency, April 14, 2021]

Mahmoud Al-Habbash also serves as Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice. In August 2019 PA Chairman Abbas dismissed all his advisors by Presidential decree. It is unclear what their status is today.

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."

Headline: “During March the Al-Aqsa Mosque was defiled more than 20 times…”

“In a monthly report the [PA] Ministry of Religious Affairs documented more than 20 invasions of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque [plaza] and 59 times when the occupation banned sounding the call to prayer at the Ibrahimi Mosque (i.e., Cave of the Patriarchs) during the month of March [2021]…

It added: ‘The Al-Aqsa Mosque [plaza] was defiled more than 20 times. Invading settlers openly cried and prayed inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque [plaza] because the Temple has not yet been built. In the Old City [of Jerusalem] a number of marches of settlers took place, and the “Temple Organizations” carried a model of the alleged Temple.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 5, 2021]

The images show Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam speaking at an event for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan at “Martyr Yasser Arafat Square” in Ramallah.

Posted text: “[Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor] Dr. [Laila] Ghannam sent her blessings to our heroic prisoners and said that our people is following the path of the Martyrs and prisoners until our independent state whose capital is Jerusalem will be established… [Ghannam also wished] that we will celebrate the lighting of the Ramadan torch and the holiday of Easter in Jerusalem when it is liberated from the occupation’s defilement.”

[Facebook page of Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam, April 12, 2021]

“Fatah Movement Jerusalem Branch Secretary Shadi Mattour emphasized the desire to survive, stand firm, protect the holy sites, and defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the danger of Judaization

In an interview with Radio Mawtini, Mattour spoke about how he views the Israeli election results. He warned against the rise of the extremist right-wing and against the composition of the government by saying: ‘They will target the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its plazas with greater vigor, and they will act to prevent the [Arab] residents of Jerusalem from participating in the PA Parliament (Legislative Council) elections.’

He added: ‘Here, on every inch of the land of Jerusalem, a battle is taking place between us and the occupation and the racist settlement enterprise, but our willpower is stronger, and we have sworn that we will remain on our land and in our homes, and that we will protect our holy sites. We will defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque against Judaization, and we will prevent the construction of their alleged Temple. Jerusalem will remain Arab with all its holy components, such as the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.’ …

He warned against the Israeli occupation’s plot to build the Temple at the expense of the Jerusalem Noble Sanctuary (i.e., the Temple Mount), the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and all the neighborhoods that are adjacent to the mosque. He also said: ‘Then the plan to Judaize and erase our identity will be completed, and we will not allow this as long as we are alive.’ Mattour added: ‘We understand that we are in an existential struggle in the holy city [of Jerusalem].’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 28, 2021]

“In Lebanon, the activities of solidarity with the [Arab] residents of Jerusalem are continuing amid the battle of honor that they are waging with the Israeli occupation forces and the settlement enterprise’s mercenaries, in order to defend their city and their holy sites (refers to Israel removing security barriers from the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City following violent Arab riots -Ed.)…

As part of this, the Palestinian factions organized a rally to celebrate the victory of Jerusalem at the Burj Al-Barajneh refugee camp in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon…

Fatah Movement leadership member in Beirut Nasser Al-Assad gave the PLO’s speech. He began it with a few sentimental words about Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Palestine, and the Palestinian willpower that is firm against the occupation…

Al-Assad noted that this enemy only understands the language of confrontation, struggle, and direct fighting through all types of resistance, which requires all of us to unify the ranks

Islamic Jihad leadership member in Lebanon Mahfouz Munawir gave a speech in which he said that the battle for the Damascus Gate is the battle for Jerusalem and Palestine…

He emphasized that in the battles that our people is waging one after the other it is recording victory after victory, and thus it will reach the certain victory and the expulsion of the occupier from all the Palestinian territories.

Munawir said that when all the energies of the Palestinian people and its factions will unite, victory will be Palestine’s, which has sacrificed that which is most precious to it and the best of its young people to liberate the land from the enemy’s defilement…

Hezbollah’s Director of Palestine Affairs Sheikh Atallah Hamoud saluted the Palestinian fighters who are waging the most impressive battles of heroism against the Zionist enemy. He said that he is proud to stand as a sign of solidarity with the residents of Jerusalem in the struggle that they are waging in the land of Ribat (i.e., religious conflict over land claimed to be Islamic).”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 29, 2021]

Official PA TV host: “Last Saturday [March 27, 2021], the so-called Jewish holiday of Passover began… Throughout the week there were increased break-ins [into the Al-Aqsa Mosque] by the settler gangs under tight protection from the occupation police, which is working to dry up the Islamic presence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in parallel to facilitating for the settlers to do as they see fit at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. What is your response to the attempts to impose facts, and to the blow to the historical and legal status quo in Jerusalem and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque?”

Director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Omar Al-Kiswani: “We view this seriously, particularly last week when the Al-Aqsa Mosque was broken into by the extremist associations under the protection of the occupation police… who increased deployment inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque and around the Old City [of Jerusalem], and imposed a siege around the Al-Aqsa Mosque… so that the Al-Aqsa Mosque would be empty of Muslim worshippers during the presence of these people and during their break-in into the Al-Aqsa Mosque plazas. There were large numbers, there were at least 60 extremists in every group; over the course of last week more than 2,380 extremists broke into the Al-Aqsa Mosque… Of course, this is open appropriation that was conveyed to the entire world – both with Talmudic (i.e., Jewish) prayers, not honoring the sanctity of the site, and defiling the site – through these provocations and the behavior of these people

The Islamic Waqf needs Arab and Islamic support to defend the Islamicness and Arabness of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and to put an end to these violations that are planned by the occupation government at the highest levels

The occupation wants to turn this sight into something routine at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, but we say this sight is unusual, the Al-Aqsa Mosque is an exclusive right of the Muslims, and it will not accept division and will not accept partnership. The mosque, with all its 144 dunams (i.e., 144,000 square meters) of territory, belongs to all the Muslims, including that which is underground and aboveground until the highest heavens, and this is according to a divine decree…

[In Sura 17 of the Quran] Allah eternalizes the connection between [the Al-Aqsa Mosque] and the Great Mosque [of Mecca]. And there is no difference between Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in terms of the Muslims. Our connection to it is a religious-faith connection, and these acts are forbidden religiously, not just politically.”

[Official PA TV, Good Morning Jerusalem, April 2, 2021]