PA official warns of Israel plot to raze al-Aqsa mosque

PA official warns of Israel plot to raze al-Aqsa mosque
Sun Mar 30, 2014 22:56:50

Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud al-Habbash has joined a growing number of local and international voices in warning of Israeli plots to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque in al-Quds.

“Israel is following a systematic, gradual plan supported by the Israeli government and protected by the Israeli army and its aim- I’m telling you is not to divide al-Aqsa - its aim is to remove the al-Aqsa Mosque,” al-Habbash said in an interview.

In recent months, Israeli forces and extremist settlers have stepped up their attacks on Palestinians visiting the mosque. This has led to violent confrontations between the two sides.

Israel has also imposed severe restrictions to prevent Muslim worshippers from entering the mosque.

On February 25, Knesset (Israeli parliament) discussed a plan to annex the site.

Palestinians have denounced the plan as desecration. They say it is part of the Israeli regime’s ongoing attempts to distort Arab and Islamic history.

Palestinians argue that al-Quds is the capital of a future Palestinian independent state, and that its heritage should remain intact.

Over the past decades, Israel has tried to change the demographic makeup of al-Quds by constructing illegal settlements, destroying historical sites, and expelling the local Palestinian population.

The al-Aqsa compound, which lies in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds, is a flashpoint. The compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is the holiest site in Judaism. It is Islam’s third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

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