Adnan al-Husayni, the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs in the Palestinian Authority (PA) government, on Thursday accused Jewish organizations of preparing plans to demolish the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and to establish an "imaginary" Holy Temple in its place.
Speaking with the Hamas-affiliated Palestine newspaper, Husayni claimed that Israel is aware that the demolition of the Al-Aqsa Mosque will result in a firestorm that would spread to all parts of the country.
But despite the fact that Israel is aware of this, he continued, Israel’s policy is meant to deliberately expel the “original” inhabitants of Jerusalem from their homes, including by demolishing their houses and imposing taxes on them.
Husayni called on UNESCO, the UN’s cultural organization, to act immediately against the excavations carried out by Israel in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Israel, he claimed, is digging tunnels in the area in an attempt to find historical evidence of Jewish existence in the region, "but they failed to do so despite all their attempts to falsify the history and the Palestinian historical sites."
PA officials often make unfounded and ridiculous claims with regards to Israel’s intentions on the Temple Mount. The false claim that Israel plans to demolish the Al-Aqsa Mosque and replace it with a Jewish temple is often repeated by these officials.
Other ridiculous claims include accusing Israel of using chemicals to erode the foundations of the mosque in order to cause it to collapse.
Meanwhile the Waqf, which was left in charge of the Temple Mount following Jerusalem’s reunification in 1967, has removed every sign of ancient Jewish presence at the Jewish holy site.
Israeli 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.