Iraqi national soccer team visits Temple Mount

Iraqi soccer team visits PA, plays against PA team while fans wave banners of Saddam Hussein.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

visitors on the Temple Mount
visitors on the Temple Mount
Mendy Hechtman, Flash 90

The Iraqi national soccer team is currently visiting the region as the guest of the Palestinian Authority. The Iraqi team played a game against the PA team and conducted tours of various sites, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

The visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque was held by the visiting team on Monday morning. Afterwards they took photographs on the steps of the compound, and held comprehensive tour of the Old City. The visit was reported by Maor Zemach, chairman of the Lech Yerushalayim movement, which is following the events in the eastern part of the capital.

The Iraqi team stayed at a hotel in eastern Jerusalem, where it was greeted by senior Palestinian Authority officials, including Jibril Rajoub, chairman of the PA Football (soccer) Association, members of the PA Olympic Committee and other dignitaries.

Tzemach noted that the soccer game itself took place in Ahram, north of Jerusalem last Friday, in which the visiting team won 3-1. In addition, Tzemach noted that during the game itself, the viewers waved banners bearing the picture of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

During the Gulf War the PLO encouraged the firing of missiles from Iraq on Israel. In those days, the Palestinians carried out the call, "Ya-Sadam Ya Habib Odarov Oderov Tel Aviv" (the beloved Saddam, hit Tel Aviv), a call that also caused outrage among Israeli leftist circles.

Maor Tzemach concluded: "Only under Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount is freedom of worship allowed for all religions, and it is important to establish a procedure to accompany senior delegations from the Arab world to visit the Temple Mount and to prevent the PA from taking over and demonstrating the presence In Jerusalem when he brings visiting delegations from the Arab world to Jerusalem."