PA Prime Minister emphasized that Temple Mount "is the property and right of the Muslims, and cannot be divided under any circumstances"
Headline: “Shtayyeh: The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the right of the Muslims, and it cannot be divided under any circumstances”
“[PA] Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh emphasized that the Al-Aqsa Mosque with all its territory is the property and right of the Muslims, and that it cannot be divided under any circumstances.
In a statement to [the official PA] radio [station] The Voice of Palestine, Shtayyeh said that the extremist government of [Israeli Prime Minister Naftali] Bennett wants to export its internal crisis at the expense of our people by doubling [the pace of] the settlement enterprise, attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, murder, and siege, in order to impose a division of the blessed mosque [between Jews and Muslims] according to areas and times.
On a different matter, Shtayyeh emphasized that the Palestinian prisoners’ cause is at the top of the priorities of the [PA] leadership and [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, and that [the leadership] will not abandon a single male or female prisoner, despite all the pressures that are being exerted on it.”
“Division according to areas and times” refers to a submission of a “private bill” by Israeli MP Uri Ariel in March 2003. The bill suggested ensuring freedom of religious worship by allowing both Jews and Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount - what the Palestinians call the Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza. The bill sought to designate separate prayer times and areas of the site for Muslims and Jews. The bill never progressed past the initial legislatory stage. While there was additional discussion on the subject in 2012, no legislation was ever passed. In response to the incessant PA claims that the “division according to areas and times” of the Temple Mount is an operative Israeli plan, former Israeli PM Netanyahu stated on many occasions that the Israeli government has no intention of changing the so-called status quo on the Temple Mount, which de facto is interpreted to mean Jews are only allowed to enter the Temple Mount, but not to conduct individual or communal prayers there. In July 2021, Israeli PM Naftali Bennett said Muslims and Jews have freedom of worship at the Temple Mount, which was understood by many as a hint to changing the status quo at the site, but the following day his office backtracked and said he misspoke and did not mean Jews would have freedom of worship, but rather would have freedom to visit. “There is no change in the status quo,” a statement from PM Bennett’s office confirmed.y type of worship.