Israel plans to allow Jewish worshipers to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on a regular basis, dividing prayer time between Muslims and Jews, officials at the Islamic Christian Society in Support of Jerusalem said Monday.50 Jewish holidays every year? Jews coveting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre? Rosh Hashanah always coinciding with Eid?
Currently Israeli citizens are not permitted to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the Haram Ash-Sharif. On Sunday, however, clashes broke out inside the sanctuary when extremist Jews - reports dispute whether or not the culprits were Israeli citizens - entered the area along with Israeli soldiers. The compound was locked down during the clashes and 13 were injured. Israeli forces also raided Palestinian Jerusalem and detained dozens military sources say were involved in the clashes.
According to the society, there will be 50 Jewish holidays on which Jews will have exclusive access to the compound for worship. The religious calendars of the Muslim and Jewish faith often overlap, with the Jewish Rosh Hashana holiday coinciding with the final Friday of the Muslim Ramadan. The society calls the decision “unacceptable.”
Officials, including Sheikh Taisir At-Tamimi, Archbishop Atallah Hanna, Dr. Hasan Khater, Sheikh Ibrahim Sarsour and Father Manuel Musallam from the society spoke at a news conference Monday in Ramallah. They warned that such a policy was dangerous, and “went beyond the red line.”
The religious leaders then appealed to Palestinian leaders to seek a national agreement so they could prevent Israel from taking over the site, which Jews believe is the place where the Second Temple stood. Plans from extremist and even moderate right wing groups to raze Al-Aqsa and build a Third Temple have been repeatedly uncovered.
The leaders called the plan a war crime, noting there were attacks on Al-Aqsa from “above and below,” referring to the contentious excavation work Israel is carrying out on tunnels beneath the compound.
The officials called all the Muslims to fast on Thursday and all the Christians to pray on Sunday as an expression of solidarity with Jerusalem and all the holy places in the city.
Sheikh Taisir At-Tamimi urged Palestinians to attend worship ceremonies in the Old City of Jerusalem and at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in particular, in order to stave off encroaching Israeli presence in the area.
The Archbishop Atallah Hanna asked all Christians to join their fellow Muslims in prayer on Sunday to be in solidarity with Al-Aqsa mosque. He stressed that targeting Al-Aqsa is only the beginning of targeting the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
What is really happening is that these extremist religious leaders saw that their rioting on Sunday was, from their twisted perspective, a complete success. People like Tamimi come out with Jewish conspiracy theories every week, all published in the Arabic media, about how Jews are digging tunnels underneath the Temple Mount or planning to destroy it or whatever. But last week, he got "lucky" by predicting that Jews would go to the Temple Mount on Sunday (even though Jews, and even Israeli Jews, go there often) and he had riled up his acolytes to riot.
The riots resulted in the Jews leaving their holiest area, so once again Arabs proved that the threat of violence is far more effective than anything else in getting their agendas done.
So now they need to extend their good luck. They make up crazy rumors. Major clerics announce these so-called Jewish plans without the tiniest shred of evidence, but that doesn't matter - as long as they can credibly get their idiot followers to believe them, they are golden. Their goal is to ensure that Jews are never allowed to set foot on the Temple Mount, and the way to do that is to repeat the circumstances of the 2000 intifada - something they consider a wonderful victory. For years, the holiest Jewish shrine was Judenrein, and these sheikhs and clerics were happy even as their people were getting killed and their economy went down the tubes.
How sweet would it be, though, if the Jewish state would actually take over the Temple Mount from the corrupt Waqf and give permanent access to Jews?