Skip to main content

Fattouh lies: “Al-Aqsa is in real danger”

Headline: “Fattouh warns against the plans of the occupation and the settlers against the Al-Aqsa Mosque”

“[Palestinian National Council (i.e., the legislative body of the PLO) Chairman Rawhi] Fattouh warned against the possibility that the [Israeli] right-wing government, which has a coalition of religious and extremist right-wing parties, will destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque by creating artificial earthquakes that will harm it and the Arab neighborhoods and will destroy them, especially considering the fact that the excavations have weakened it (sic., see note below), and this is ahead of the settlers taking control of it to establish their alleged Temple…

Fattouh noted that the racist occupation government has been aided by experts, all of whom are participating in plans to create an earthquake under the Al-Aqsa Mosque that is liable to cause its destruction, and this is in order to eliminate any Arab-Islamic presence or characteristics within the walls [of the Old City of Jerusalem].

He noted that the recent statements of extremists, Israeli Parliament members, and ministers in the government of settlers, according to which ‘The Temple will only be established when the Al-Aqsa Mosque is destroyed,’ are tantamount to explicit calls to target it and destroy it…

Fattouh demanded to establish international committees of experts to expose the excavations under the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Old City (sic., see note below). He also called on our people to show great alertness and caution, to carry out Ribat (i.e., religious conflict over land claimed to be Islamic) at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and not to leave it alone, because it is in real danger.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, Aug. 8, 2023]

Claims that Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem are endangered by excavations, including excavations under the Temple Mount - The PA regularly claims that Israeli archaeological excavations in Jerusalem endanger Arab residents and their neighborhoods, and that Israel excavates under the Temple Mount, thereby endangering the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Regarding the Temple Mount claim, the Israeli daily Haaretz has reported 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]

As for claims that Israeli excavations endanger Arab residents of Jerusalem and their neighborhoods, and particularly of Silwan – a predominantly Arab neighborhood near the Old City of Jerusalem, built above the ruins of ancient Jerusalem – the Israeli Supreme Court has rejected several such petitions. These petitions targeted excavations in the City of David archaeological site, which have been conducted for around 50 years and unearthed a multitude of artifacts, proving the Jewish presence in the city from the First Temple period that began in approximately 1000 BCE.

Israeli Supreme Court Justice Edna Arbel responded to one petition (High Court of Justice file 9252/080) against the excavations by saying: “The [Arab] petitioners did not present any evidence that would substantiate a connection between the excavations and the damages that were allegedly caused to their homes… It had been made clear that the excavation work… was being done under the supervision and accompaniment of professionals.”

In a separate ruling (High Court of Justice file 1308/08), Arbel said: “Notwithstanding the claims of the petitioners, it was explained that the work is being done under professional engineering supervision and as part of an approved construction plan… The work is performed with the accompaniment and supervision of professionals, not as the petitioners claim, and it is clear that these professionals are not only concerned about the completion of the work… but also are aware of their obligation to make sure the work is done in a way that will not harm the petitioners, their family members, or their property.”

According to reports, many Arab residents of Silwan even worked on the excavations until threats from the PA and Hamas forced them to stop.

The PA regularly falsely claims that Israel excavates under the Temple Mount, thereby endangering the Al-Aqsa Mosque, however the Israeli Antiquities Authority does not carry out any archaeological excavations on or under the Temple Mount itself due to Muslim sensitivities.

RelatedView all ❯