Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Friday declared that his organization will fight Israel and will not allow it to do as it pleases on the Temple Mount.
According to Channel 2 News, Haniyeh took part in a mass protest in Gaza, part of a “day of rage” that was called for by Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. While the “day of rage” mostly fizzled in Jerusalem, it was in full force in Gaza.
Haniyah claimed during the protest that Israel’s closure of the Temple Mount, which was quickly reversed following international pressure, was part of an Israeli plan to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
“The Israeli enemy is entering a very dangerous phase in carrying out its tasks towards the sacred mosque,” he said, according to Channel 2.
"They plan to assign different prayer times for Jews and Arabs and think seriously about destroying the holy mosque by building underground tunnels beneath it," continued Haniyah and threatened, “We, the Palestinian people, will not give up and fight for our holy places in Jerusalem.”
The Jordanian Waqf keeps an iron fist on the Temple Mount and its activities; Jews face constant discrimination and violence for visiting the site, and there is a blanket ban on Jewish prayer there.
Muslims and Christians, however, have free reign to worship at and visit the Mount - the IDF even allowed 500 Gazans to ascend to the Mount as a "gesture" during peace talks with Hamas in Cairo - and the Jerusalem Arab community recently celebrated the Eid al-Adha holiday there on the same day as Yom Kippur.
In addition to imposing restrictions on Jews, the Waqf also consistently destroys Jewish antiquities on the compound in a direct violation of a ruling by the Supreme Court.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)