Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the northern faction of the Islamic Movement and a senior member of the High Follow‑Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, said on Tuesday that Israel's ambitions when it comes to the Al-Aqsa Mosque are clear, and it strives to Judaize Jerusalem and its historical and religious places.
Salah pointed out that "the Al-Aqsa Mosque is stronger than all those lurking in harm's way and the plans of the occupation that strive to Judaize it, since it is a truth in the Quran that will prevail throughout the years of the universe until the Day of Judgment."
Meanwhile, Sheikh Najah Bakhirat, president of Al-Aqsa Academy which is affiliated with the Islamic Movement, told Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV channel that the Holy City of Jerusalem is facing an attempt to establish a Jewish area, and this is reflected in the excavations in the area of the Al-Aqsa Mosque that destroyed buildings and wells.
He also claimed that Israel built the light rail in Jerusalem in order to facilitate the arrival of “extremist settlers” to the Old City and that the "occupation" is trying to suffocate the Al-Aqsa Mosque by separating the Arab communities around it.
The comments come as the holiday of Hanukkah approaches and amid reports about the intention of Jewish organizations to organize visits to the Temple Mount during that time. Similar to previous holidays, the Palestinian Arab side is preparing to protest the visit of Jews to the Temple Mount on the Hanukkah holiday as well.