JERUSALEM – Jerusalem and the Temple Mount belong to the Muslims and
any Israeli action that "offends" the Mount will be answered by 1.5
billion Muslims, declared the chief of staff for Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas.
"Jerusalem is Muslim. The blessed
Al Aqsa mosque and Harem Al Sharif (Temple Mount) is 100 percent
Muslim. The Israelis are playing with fire when they threaten Al Aqsa
with digging that is taking place," said Abbas' chief of staff Rafiq Al
Temple Mount in Jerusalem
WND exclusive interview last year
The Temple Mount is Judaism's holiest site.
Husseini was referring to Israeli plans to construct a new bridge from the Western Wall area to the Temple Mount.
old bridge was damaged two years ago. When Israeli workers tried to
repair it, Palestinian leaders claimed the work was threatening the Al
Aqsa Mosque, even though the mosque is located hundreds of feet away,
the work did not tunnel under any Mount foundation or touch any
structure connected to the mosque, and the repair work – which had been
pre-approved by Jordan and the Mount's Muslim custodians – was
conducted under the scrutiny of an accessible 24/7 webcam.
hurting of Jerusalem will explode the whole negotiations between us and
the Israelis ... we must work to strengthen Palestinian ties to
Jerusalem," al-Husseini said.
Israel has been negotiating
with Abbas in line with talks started at last November's U.S.-backed
Annapolis Summit, which seeks to create a Palestinian state before the
end of the year. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is widely expected to offer
the Palestinians most of the West Bank and eastern sections of
Jerusalem. The Temple Mount is located in eastern Jerusalem.
Palestinian leaders claim the Temple Mount is Muslim in spite of
overwhelming archaeological evidence documenting the first and second
Taysir Tamimi, chief Palestinian Justice and one of the most
influential Muslim leaders in Israel, argued the Jewish Temples never
existed, the Western Wall really was a tying post for Muhammad's horse,
the Al Aqsa Mosque was built by angels, and Abraham, Moses and Jesus
were prophets for Islam.
(Story continues below)
Tamimi is considered the second most important Palestinian cleric after Muhammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.
started since 1967 making archeological digs to show Jewish signs to
prove the relationship between Judaism and the city and they found
nothing. There is no Jewish connection to Israel before the Jews
invaded in the 1880s," said Tamimi.
"About these so-called two
Temples, they never existed, certainly not at the [Temple Mount],"
Tamimi said during a sit-down interview in his eastern Jerusalem
The Palestinian cleric denied the validity of dozens
of digs verified by experts worldwide revealing Jewish artifacts from
the First and Second Temples throughout Jerusalem, including on the
Temple Mount itself; excavations revealing Jewish homes and a synagogue
in a site in Jerusalem called the City of David; or even the recent
discovery of a Second Temple Jewish city in the vicinity of Jerusalem.
said descriptions of the Jewish Temples in the Hebrew Tanach, in the
Talmud and in Byzantine and Roman writings from the Temple periods were
forged, and that the Torah was falsified to claim biblical patriarchs
and matriarchs were Jewish when indeed they were prophets for Islam.
this is not real. We don't believe in all your versions. Your Torah was
falsified. The text as given to the Muslim prophet Moses never mentions
Jerusalem. Maybe Jerusalem was mentioned in the rest of the Torah,
which was falsified by the Jews," said Tamimi.
He said Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Jesus were "prophets for the Israelites sent by Allah as to usher in Islam."
about the Western Wall, Tamimi said the structure was a tying post for
Muhammad's horse and that it is part of the Al Aqsa Mosque, even though
the Wall predates the mosque by over 1,000 years.
wall is the western wall of the Al Aqsa Mosque. It's where Prophet
Muhammad tied his animal which took him from Mecca to Jerusalem to
receive the revelations of Allah."
The Kotel, or Western Wall,
is an outer retaining wall of the Temple Mount that survived the
destruction of the Second Temple and still stands today in Jerusalem.
went on to claim to WND the Al Aqsa Mosque , which has sprung multiple
leaks and has had to be repainted several times, was built by angels.
"Al Aqsa was build by the angels forty years after the building of Al-Haram in Mecca. This we have no doubt is true," he said.
First Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. It was
destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Second Temple was rebuilt
in 515 B.C. after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. That
temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in A.D. 70. Each temple stood
for a period of about four centuries.
The Temple was the
center of religious worship for ancient Israelites. It housed the Holy
of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant and was said to be
the area upon which God's presence dwelt. All biblical holidays
centered on worship at the Temple. The Temples served as the primary
location for the offering of sacrifices and was the main gathering
place for Israelites.
According to the Talmud, the world was
created from the foundation stone of the Temple Mount. It's believed to
be the biblical Mount Moriah, the location where Abraham fulfilled
God's test to see if he would be willing to sacrifice his son Isaac.
Temple Mount has remained a focal point for Jewish services for
thousands of years. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem and the
rebuilding of the Temple have been uttered by Jews since the Second
Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition.
Aqsa Mosque was constructed in about 709 to serve as a shrine near
another shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic
caliph. Al Aqsa was meant to mark what Muslims came to believe was the
place at which Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven to
receive revelations from Allah.
Jerusalem is not mentioned in
the Quran. It is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible 656 times. Muslims
worldwide pray with their backs away from the Temple Mount and toward
Islamic tradition states Muhammad took a journey in a
single night on a horse from "a sacred mosque" – believed to be in
Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to "the farthest mosque" and from a
rock there ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque became associated
with Jerusalem about 120 years ago.
According to research by
Israeli Author Shmuel Berkovits, Islam historically disregarded
Jerusalem. Berkovits points out in his new book, "How dreadful is
this place!" that Muhammad was said to loathe Jerusalem and what it
stood for. He wrote Muhammad made a point of eliminating pagan
sites of worship, and sanctifying only one place – the Kaaba in Mecca –
to signify the unity of God.
As late as the 14th century,
Islamic scholar Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya, whose writings influenced the
Wahhabi movement in Arabia, ruled that sacred Islamic sites are to be
found only in the Arabian Peninsula, and that "in Jerusalem, there is
not a place one calls sacred, and the same holds true for the tombs of
It wasn't until the late nineteenth century –
incidentally when Jews started immigrating to Palestine – that some
Muslim scholars began claiming Muhammad tied his horse to the Western
Wall and associated Muhammad's purported night journey with the Temple
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