The Palestinian mufti, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, on Sunday called on “the Palestinian people” and on residents of Jerusalem to gather around the Al-Aqsa Mosque and protect it using whatever means possible.
Hussein’s comments came at a press conference marking the 47th anniversary of the arson at the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Australian citizen Denis Michael Rohan, who was later tried, found to be insane, and hospitalized in a mental institution.
In his comments, Hussein accused Israel of trying to turn Jerusalem into its eternal capital and cleanse out any expression of Arab and Islamic culture from it. He stressed, “It is not just Al-Aqsa and its domes which reflect the Islamic nature of the city, but each floor of the holy city, every remnant of the city, and every centimeter attest to the fact that it is an Arab and Islamic city, whose roots lie deep in history and culture.”
Sheikh Hussein added further that the enormous sacrifices of the “Palestinian people” through the ages are clear proof that they will not give up on the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy sites of Islam and Christianity nor will they give up on the Arab, Muslim and Palestinian character of the city.
In a taped address played at a separate ceremony in Gaza, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said that the Palestinians embrace the Koran and jihad and added, “The Palestinian people will place their finger on the trigger, and are preparing for the liberation of Palestine, Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Palestinian Authority Arab leaders continuously accuse Israel of “Judaizing” Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
Just last week, a Palestinian Arab minister accused Jewish organizations of making plans to demolish the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and to establish an "imaginary" Holy Temple in its place.
PA officials often make unfounded and ridiculous claims with regards to Israel’s intentions on the Temple Mount. The false claim that Israel plans to demolish the Al-Aqsa Mosque and replace it with a Jewish temple is often repeated by these officials.
Meanwhile the Waqf, which was left in charge of the Temple Mount following Jerusalem’s reunification in 1967, has removed every sign of ancient Jewish presence at the Jewish holy site.