Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa MosqueArutz Sheva

Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, head of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem and a preacher at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, claims that 2020 was the most difficult year for Arab and Islamic Jerusalem since 1967.

Speaking in an interview with the Hamas-affiliated Felesteen newspaper, Sabri said that the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings are under an intensive Israeli campaign to Judaize the area and build the Holy Temple which, he claimed, never actually existed.

Sabri further claimed that Israeli intelligence is trying to take over Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli intelligence, he insisted, contacts every preacher in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and implicitly warns them against incitement, in an attempt to intimidate the preachers of the mosque. In light of this, “there is no immunity for any preacher from detention and expulsion, and this is terrorism that is being implemented all the time and even intensified in 2020."

Sabri provided further examples of the alleged “Judaization” of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and an attempt to establish a Temple, among other things through visits by Jews to the Temple Mount, as well as an attempt to bring a menorah to the site and light it.

Sabri regularly accuses Israel of trying to “Judaize” the Temple Mount area. Several years ago, he accused "extremist" Jewish organizations of waging a legal battle aimed at achieving Israeli sovereignty in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In 2014, he declared that Al-Aqsa was a “red line” for Arabs, adding, “We will not give up even one grain of earth (at the Al-Aqsa Mosque), since the Jews have no connection to it whatsoever.”

Arabs continuously accuse Israel of "Judaizing" the Temple Mount, sometimes resorting to ridiculous propaganda such as accusing Israel of using chemicals to erode the foundations of the mosque in order to cause it to collapse.