Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa MosqueFlash 90

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) “ministry of religious endowments and religious affairs” published its monthly report on the holy sites of Islam.

According to the document, there were about 90 "attacks" on holy sites in the past month, 25 of which were directed against the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

"Settlers broke into Islamic holy sites in Salfit and held Jewish rituals there, the special forces of the police, the Border Police and [Israeli] Intelligence broke into the school of the Islamic orphanage in the Old City of Jerusalem and settlers took over a shop in the Old City of Hevron," the report claims.

Husam Abu al-Rab, director of the PA's “endowments ministry”, claimed that the "Israeli activity seeks to change the character of the Old City of Jerusalem, especially the Al-Aqsa Mosque."

In this context, he mentioned the inauguration of the Pilgrims’ Road, which he called "a theft of Islamic heritage and history."

The 2,000-year-old Pilgrims’ Road is an ancient used by pilgrims during the Second Temple period to bring sacrifices to the Temple. It was unveiled in a special ceremony last week which was attended by US officials, a fact which angered the PA.

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat launched an unprecedented personal attack on US ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt for taking part in the unveiling, accusing them of promoting “racist colonial” interests.

He was particularly angry at Friedman, saying he is “not a US ambassador”, but rather, “an extremist Israeli settler”.

He later criticized them again, this time saying that they had inaugurated a “fake” project.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the official spokesman of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, also criticized the US officials’ presence at the ceremony, claiming the Pilgrims’ Road is a “myth”.

PA officials regularly make false claims that Israel is “attacking” and “Judaizing” Jerusalem 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 example, the PA officials accused "extremist" Jewish organizations of waging a legal battle aimed at achieving Israeli sovereignty in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.