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PA preacher spreads misleading tale of Al-Aqsa Mosque fire

Official PA TV, sermon by an anonymous preacher at a mosque in Ramallah

Anonymous preacher: “Do you remember the day when we gathered water and dirt and called out ‘Allahu Akbar’ (i.e., “Allah is greatest”) while crying – when the Palestinians put out the Al-Aqsa Mosque fire with their tears? We woke to the sound of the words ‘Al-Aqsa Mosque is burning!’ on the morning of Thursday, Aug. 21, 1969 (refers to Al-Aqsa Mosque arson committed by Michael Rohan, an Australian Christian with a mental health disorder -Ed.)… The people transferred water and dirt to put out the fire that was set at the Al-Aqsa Mosque inside the Southern Mosque (i.e., the Al-Aqsa Mosque itself), and it completely destroyed a third of it…

That day the occupation cut off the water to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and even delayed the arrival of the firefighter teamsthat set out from Ramallah, Hebron, and Bethlehem to the Al-Aqsa Mosque (sic., Israeli firefighters – who eventually put out the fire and not Palestinians – arrived within minutes but rioting Muslims interfered with their work and broke the only fire hydrant at the site; PMW found no evidence for claims that Israel cut off the water). We poured water like crazy and cried – that cursed day we were harmed at our holy site. On the day of the Al-Aqsa Mosque arson, [the mosque] said: ‘O King [Saladin] (see note below -Ed.) who humiliated the Crusader houses of worship, gloomy news comes to you about an injustice from the sacred house; all the mosques were purified, and only my honor is defiled.’ That day the occupier falsely claimed that the fire took place due to an electrical short circuit, but it became clear that the criminal Denis Michael [Rohan] was responsible for the arson. And the occupier put him on trial and after a short time released Denis, on the pretext that he was mentally unstable. Only a crazy person burns our holy sites? Only a mentally unstable person burns our holy sites? Only a crazy person stabs us in the heart? Only a traitor burns our pulpit, the Saladin [Al-Ayyubi] pulpit? …This fire, which is still burning us at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem, and Palestine until now – it is the fire of the Zionist plot to defile the mosque and Judaize Jerusalem.

[Official PA TV, Aug. 18, 2023]

Michael Rohan - Australian Christian with a mental health disorder who set fire to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969. For years, the Palestinian Authority has falsely accused Israel of setting the fire.

Saladin - Muslim leader and Sultan of Egypt and Syria who defeated the Christian crusaders and conquered Jerusalem in 1187. The Battle of Hattin (July 1187) took place in the Lower Galilee in what is today Israel and paved the way for Saladin’s reconquest of Jerusalem (October 1187).