Najah Bakirat, who heads the Al-Aqsa Academy for Waqf and Islamic heritage, on Monday blamed Israel for an incident of violence by Waqf guards that led to the closing of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount.
The incident took place when an Israeli officer wearing a kippah entered the Dome of the Rock mosque and was ordered to remove his kippah. The policeman objected and the guards from the Waqf tried to forcibly close the gate on him.
The policeman's colleagues who were called to the area blocked the entrance to the mosque until the guards who acted violently were arrested.
Speaking to Hamas' Al-Risala website, Bakirat said that closing the gates of the mosque was "part of the despicable occupation’s plans directed against all worshipers inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque."
Bakirat also said that "this is a new crime that is added to the crimes of the occupation against the holy sites of Islam, and the activity that is aimed at harming the sanctity of the blessed mosque and the right of Muslims to pray."
The Temple Mount was left in the hands of the Jordanian Waqf following Jerusalem’s reunification in the Six Day War in 1967. The Waqf has taken advantage of this and removed every sign of ancient Jewish presence at the most Jewish holy site.
Police, in an attempt to appease the Waqf, discriminate against Jews. They limit the number of Jewish worshippers allowed on the Temple Mount at one time in order to prevent conflict with Muslim worshippers. They often close the Mount to Jews in response to Muslim riots – despite evidence that Muslim riots have been planned in advance for the specific purpose of forcing Jews out.
The Palestinian Arabs regularly blame Israel for many of the Arab riots on the Temple Mount and, in general, falsely claim that Israel is “Judaizing” Jerusalem, which they claim is their capital, in an attempt to erase the Muslim connection to the city.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) officials make particularly ridiculous claims regarding the Temple Mount and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. In 2018, a number of Islamic organizations in Jerusalem claimed that the "occupation police" are trying to gradually impose their hegemony on the administration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
In another instant, the PA officials accused "extremist" Jewish organizations of waging a legal battle aimed at achieving Israeli sovereignty in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Israel has also been accused by the PA of planning to replace the mosque with an “imaginary temple” and of using chemicals to erode the foundations of the mosque in order to cause it to collapse.