Senior Al-Aqsa official: Stop Israel's plot on Temple Mount

Official tells Hamas newspaper Muslims must establish facts on the ground to prevent Israel from building a synagogue on the Temple Mount.

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Temple Mount
Temple Mount
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Dr. Najah Bakirat, director of the Koran Academy at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, called on Muslims to save the northern and eastern parts of the Temple Mount from Jewish visitors and to prevent the 'occupation fr'om implementing its 'destructive' plans.

In an interview with the Hamas newspaper Felesteen on Tuesday, he said that the Waqf must take immediate action to rehabilitate the eastern part of the mount. He claimed that Israel was trying to prove that the area was abandoned and unused and that only piles of earth and stones could be found there.

According to Bakirat, there is an Israeli plan to build a synagogue and to open the 'Gate of Mercy' on the eastern side of the Temple Mount, which has been closed since the days of Saladin in 1187 CE. He called for the exertion of pressure on the Israeli authorities to open the area for Muslim prayer and and to build a Mosque next to the Gate of Mercy.

He also said that Israel is interested in separating the northern part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a name he used to describe the entire Temple Mount, and erect a synagogue there. In order to thwart the plan, he urged Muslims to pray at the site, to build on the site, and to set up lighting and taps for washing the body before prayer.

The Palestinian Authority and radical Palestinian Arab Islamists deny the connection between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount and maintain that the two Holy Temples never existed. They claim the site as a solely Muslims and Palestinian Arab site.