PA Grand Mufti falsely claims that Israel is damaging the Al-Aqsa Mosque with "recurring invasions" and "incessant excavations"
Headline: “The occupation persecutes the dead in the cemeteries”
“[PA] Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories and preacher at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque Muhammad Hussein warned against the occupation authorities’ attempts to change the appearance of the Al-Aqsa Mosque through the recurring invasions of it and the restoration of the synagogue known as ‘Tiferet Israel’ (see note below -Ed.), which is west of the mosque, in addition to the incessant excavations around and under it – which has caused damage to its colonnades and walls (sic., Israel does not excavate under the Temple Mount; see note below).
He said that the occupation authorities – in a dangerous attempt to close the space of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and imitate its Islamic domes – has begun to restore a synagogue that is 250 meters west of the mosque, decades after it was established on Islamic lands.”
Muhammad Hussein also serves as Deputy Secretary-General and acting Secretary-General of the PLO Popular National Conference of Jerusalem.
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.
The original Tiferet Israel Synagogue was constructed in 1872 on land that had been purchased from its Arab owners; it was destroyed by the Jordanian Legion in 1948.
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]