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Abbas’ advisor: Israel expresses “aggression against Islam, Islamic nation,” and “escalates the religious war”

Official PA TV newsreader: “Supreme Shari’ah Judge and President [Abbas’] Advisor on Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash condemned the occupation forces’ new act of aggression against the Gate of Mercy Mosque, and viewed this criminal act as an expression of aggression against Islam and the entire Islamic nation, and an escalation of the religious war against our people and its holy sites. Al-Habbash emphasized that the Gate of Mercy Mosque is an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and it has the same value and sanctity as the Al-Aqsa Mosque itself with all its plazas, facilities, and walls, including the Al-Buraq Wall (i.e., the Western Wall of the Temple Mount). Al-Habbash demanded that the states, governments, and religious leaderships in the Arab and Islamic world fulfill their duty and responsibility to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the occupation’s plots that seek to take control of it and turn it into the site of the alleged Temple.”

[Official PA TV News, Sept. 8, 2023]

Mahmoud Al-Habbash also serves as Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice. 

February 2019 Temple Mount clashes – Muslim riots broke out on the Temple Mount starting Feb. 18, 2019, after the Israeli police closed a compound near the Gate of Mercy after the Jordanian Waqf had violated an Israeli court order by reopening the compound the previous week. The compound was ordered sealed in 2017 given that it was managed by the banned Islamic Movement in Israel and used for illegal construction and antiquities destruction. 

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."