Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem
Al Aqsa Mosque, JerusalemIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Ekrema Sabri, who served as Mufti of Jerusalem from 1994 to 2006, warned on Saturday against “Israeli extremists” which he said “might implement their threats to break into the Al-Aqsa mosque tomorrow (Sunday) morning.”

Speaking in an interview with the Palestinian Authority-based Quds Net news agency, Sabri said, “There is an Israeli intention by extremists to make several break-ins to the Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza starting tomorrow morning.”

He added that calls to break into the mosque constitute a clear challenge of Muslim feelings, but claimed Arab youth, children and adults are fully prepared to handle any attempt to break into the mosque, be it during the night or during the day.

Sabri urged all Arabs and Muslims to save the Al-Aqsa mosque and support the people of Jerusalem in dealing with what he called the “Israeli conspiracy against the city and its holy places.”

Ekrema Sabri was appointed by former PA Chairman Yasser Arafat as the Mufti of Jerusalem and also served as the supreme religious authority in the PA.

During the Al-Aqsa intifada, which began in 2000, Sabri expressed support for terrorist suicide attacks against Israeli civilians, and in 2001 he was questioned by police after meeting in Beirut with the leader of the Hizbullah terror group, Hassan Nasrallah. As part of his role as the senior religious authority in the PA, Sabri approved the executions Palestinian Authority Arabs who were accused of collaborating with Israel.

In 2002 he published a booklet entitled “Palestine - Man and the Earth” which included anti-Semitic motifs drawn from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, denied the historical right of Jews to the land of Israel and Jerusalem and contested the legitimacy of Israel's existence.

In the past week, Arabs have several times claimed that Israel was planning Jewish projects in or around the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Last Saturday, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage claimed that Israel is planning to build a new structure on the Temple Mount, adjacent to the Al-Aqsa mosque. The foundation claimed the building will be designed to include a Jewish museum, lecture halls, exhibition halls, a library and archives center, and a center for information.

Previously, the Al Aqsa Heritage Foundation’s website featured photos of IDF soldiers touring the Temple Mount. The foundation claimed that two photos are of a Jewish man urinating on a wall within the Temple Mount compound.

However, the website did not provide any evidence that the man is indeed Jewish or that he was indeed engaged in the act they claim he was engaged in. Nor is there any account or documentation that he was approached by anyone following his supposed act of sacrilege, as one would have expected to happen.