PA Council: Israeli plan to build synagogue at Islamic site is “Judaization” and “desecration” of the the Al-Aqsa Mosque, first step to “establishing the alleged Temple on its ruins”
Headline: “The Islamic-Christian Council warns: A new synagogue next to the Al-Aqsa Mosque”
“The [PA] Islamic-Christian Council for Jerusalem and the Holy Places stated today, Thursday [Feb. 11, 2016] that the Israeli plan to build a large synagogue under the waqf (i.e., an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law) Hammam Al-Ayn [Cultural Center], a few meters below the western part of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza constitute Israeli intransigence to harm the Al-Aqsa Mosque and desecrate its sanctity. In a notice, the council described the new plan for the synagogue as ‘a real threat that is added to all the horrors and dangers surrounding the Al-Aqsa Mosque, its Islamic history, and its Arab culture’… Secretary General of the council Hanna Issa said that [the building of] a synagogue and the hundreds of Judaization plans, which target the Al-Aqsa Mosque and everything Arab in occupied Jerusalem, are ‘Israeli methods, by which the occupation state strives to Judaize the blessed [Al-Aqsa] Mosque, by coordinated efforts for excavating tunnels underneath it, taking over its Islamic landmarks… and turning them into synagogues and Judaization centers, and opening the gates of the [Al-Aqsa] Mosque to extremists and settlers in order to desecrate it, and eventually completely take it over, in preparation for turning it into a synagogue and establishing the alleged Temple on its ruins.’ It should be noted that the synagogue will be stablished in place of a waqf, which has ancient Islamic archeological remnants, at the site of the waqf the Hammam Al-Ayn, under the ground and very close to the western part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
The Hammam Al-Ayn Cultural Center is a site with public baths dating from the 1300s and which were in use as such until the early 1970s. In 1998 it was renovated by Al-Quds University and it now serves as a cultural center. The site is considered a waqf by Palestinians/Muslims - an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law.