Last Sunday 27.09.2009, some 150 Jewish fanatics entered the Al-Haram Ash-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) and tried to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque to hold rituals inside it. Those fanatics were escorted and protected by the IOF, who fired rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades in abundance at the Palestinians gathering there to protect the mosque. Several Palestinians were injured and several detained. This was by no means the first time in which Jewish fanatics attempt to storm Al-Haram Ash-Sharif and pray in Al-Aqsa mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam. On the contrary, such attempts have actually increased with time becoming the rule rather than the exception. Since the first Zionist set foot in Palestine, Zionists have carried out one massacre after the other against the Palestine people, with the aim of emptying the land of its original people so that their lie of a land without people for a people without a land would come true. And while Palestinians were and still are being accused by the whole world of terrorism for defending themselves, fanatic Zionists continue to carry out terror acts on almost a daily basis supported by the Zionist entity which is in itself a terror state, attacking unarmed civilians in occupied Palestine and neighbouring countries with sophisticated and illegal weapons and later crying: Anti-Semitism and Holocaust. For the Zionist lie to work, it was necessary to erase all evidence of another nation; their cities and villages, their agriculture and industry, their culture, their religious site and most importantly it was important to erase the people themselves. 61 years and the Palestinians, the nation and their culture, are still there, which caused the Zionists to increase their efforts and increase their attacks on all that is Palestinian. The Zionists stole a land that belongs to another people and called it Israel. They stole the Palestinian Thoub, Palestinian dishes, Palestinian folklore songs and introduced them as theirs. They stole Palestine’s natural resources and resold them as theirs. They stole the Ibrahimi Mosque and now want to steal Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock.
Immediately after the occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, the Zionists began with the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem to make place for American and European Jews. They began implementing their plans to delete Palestinian Jerusalem and replace it with a Zionist version. One important landmark, a distinctive feature, of Palestinian Jerusalem is Al-Haram Ash-Sharif compound which includes Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. To completely wipe out any Palestinian feature of the city, it was necessary to wipe out Al-Haram Ash-Sharif compound. To achieve this, a series of attacks, under various naming and excuses, were carried out on the Noble Sanctuary. These include:
1. The complete destruction of the Magharbeh Muslim Quarter and Al-Sharaf neighbourhood adjacent to the walls of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Hundreds of Palestinian houses and building were demolished and the residents expelled to make place for a Jewish Quarter, and on the ruins of Palestinian homes a Plaza was erected for the Western Wall.
2. Excavations and Digging underneath Al-Haram Ash-Sharif compound and around it with the excuse of archaeology. Under the directions of the Jewish state, a Jewish archaeological team has been digging under and around the Al-Haram Ash-Sharif since 1968 in search of any traces of a Jewish Temple. This weakened the foundations of the compound and threats it with sure collapse. These excavations and tunnel diggings constitute a violation of the Hague and the Geneva Conventions and the various resolutions of the UN Security Council and the UNESCO regarding Jerusalem. In addition to that, the Noble Sanctuary is a holy site to Muslims all over the world and destroying it in search of possible Jewish relics shows disdain and contempt towards Islam. Here is a short chronology of the Zionist excavations:
1967-1968: extensive diggings carried out on an area of 70 m² under the southern wall of Al-Aqsa.
1969: the continuous diggings exceeded an area of 80 m² adjacent to the wall of Al-Aqsa and the demolition of the Magharbeh Quarter.
1970: diggings caused serious cracks that weakened the foundation of the Ottoman Mosque (Ribat Al-Kurd) and the Jawhiriya School.
1972-1974: diggings behind the wall of Al-Aqsa that extend across its southern wall and under the Mihrab pulpit and beneath the Mosque of Omar. In addition, diggings in the eastern side of the wall near the Golden Gate, inflicting extensive damage upon the ancient Islamic cemetery there. And the expansion of the area of the Wailing Wall with the purpose of destroying several historic Islamic buildings in the area surroundings the Wailing Wall.
1977: an Israeli Ministerial Committee endorsed the implementation of this plan, which includes the demolition of several Islamic historic buildings, including the Old Islamic Shari’s Court, the Tankinazia School, the Khalidiya Library, a charitable Zawiya (corner) and the Abu-Median ancient Mosque.
1980: digging a tunnel right underneath Al-Aqsa Mosque.
1981: continuous diggings beneath the Noble Sanctuary, and Israel announces the “discovery” of a tunnel beneath the Wailing Wall and the Dome of the Rock which extends between both, as well as beneath the foundation of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Despite protests the diggings go on.
1988: digging a new tunnel near al-Ghanmeh Gate.
1994: digging a tunnel under the Via Dolorosa which threatens Islamic property around Al-Aqsa compound. Later in the year, Israeli media report that the Israeli authorities plan to start a huge project (“The King’s Hill”) around the Old City. This project is to include a 4-acre park at Salawduha area, roads to the Church of Gethsemane, construction of “Rahma Gate” underneath Al-Aqsa Mosque, and a subterranean road from the Church of Gethsemane to the wall of Silwan.
1995: the Israeli Antiquities Authority announces plans to uncover the ruins of the Solomon Temple, supposedly located under Al-Aqsa Mosque. This involves large-scale digs and violates international law. The UNESCO files a formal protest with the Israeli authorities about the excavations in the Old City, incl. the digging under Al-Aqsa Mosque.
1996: Ateret Cohanim, funded largely through tax-exempt dollars donated by rich American Jews such as Irving Moskowitz, opened a tunnel – excavated in secret night-time operations – that runs the length of Al-Aqsa compound. The controversial tunnel sparked intense clashes that claimed the lives of 60 Palestinians.
1997: new Israeli diggings under Al-Aqsa Mosque.
2009: Israeli authorities begin excavations to build a tunnel near Al-Aqsa Mosque. The tunnel was being built underneath the Arab neighbourhood of Silwan and is now 120 meters long, 1.5 meters wide and 3 meters high. The tunnel is heading north toward Al-Aqsa Mosque and would be connected with another one being built underneath Silwan neighbourhood, with the aim of eventually connecting it with the network of tunnels that leads to Al-Aqsa. The objective of the excavation is to demolish Al-Aqsa and to build the so-called second temple on its ruins.
The continuous diggings and building works beneath the Al-Haram Ash-Sharif using heavy equipment and chemicals to dissolve the rocks weakens the foundations of the compound. These Israeli diggings have lead to the collapse of the main entrance to the Jerusalem’s Waqf department, the collapse of the roof of Othman’s Mosque and the collapse of a stone wall on the Noble Sanctuary. They also allow unauthorized entry to the compound from tunnels. At the same time, the Israeli authorities prevent the Palestinian Islamic Waqf authorities from conducting any building or renovation works in the Noble Sanctuary compound. The Israeli police continuously interferences in Waqf responsibilities, often after the complaints of fanatics Jewish groups who want the compound for themselves, or Israeli archeologists who want to dig up the whole compound in search of a temple. For example, in 1998 the Israeli police ordered the Waqf to stop the renovations of a vault underneath Al-Aqsa that is sometimes used for prayers. A year later, the Israeli police prevented the expansion of a window opened up by the Waqf to provide light and air for basement rooms under the Al-Aqsa. Zionist insolence knows no limit; the “Temple Mount Faithful” fanatics, known for their numerous attempts to destroy Al-Aqsa, even went as far as to petition the Israeli High Court of Justice to order the Israel Antiques Authority to supervise construction works carried out by Palestinians in Al-Haram Ash-Sharif in order to “prevent damage and theft of antiques”.
3. Repeated attempts by fanatic Jewish terrorists to destroy Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock Immediately after the IOF occupied the Old city of Jerusalem, Shlomo Goren who was the army’s chief rabbi, urged the army to blow up Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock. This incident was reported by General Uzi Narkiss:
“The paratroopers wandered around the plaza as if in a dream. Rabbi Shlomo Goren was among them. I was alone for a moment, lost in thought, when Rabbi Goren approached me. ‘Uzi,’ Rabbi Goren said to me. ‘Now is the time to put 100 kilograms of explosives into the Mosque of Omar so that we may rid ourselves of it once and for all.’
“I said to him, ‘Rabbi, enough.’
“He said, ‘Uzi, you will go down in history if you do this.’
“I answered, ‘My name will already be written in the history books of Jerusalem.’
“But Goren persisted. ‘You don’t grasp what tremendous significance this would have. This is an opportunity that can be taken advantage of now, at this moment. Tomorrow it will be too late.’
“I said ‘Rabbi, if you don’t stop, I’ll take you to jail.’
“Thus the discussion, which only lasted a few minutes, came to an end. Rabbi Goren turned and walked away in silence.”
Later that year, the Israeli army radio also played a tape of a speech Goren made to a military convention, in which he said:
“I told this to the defense minister (Moshe Dayan) and he said, ‘I understand what you are saying, but do you really think we should have blown up the mosque?’ and I said, ‘Certainly we should have blown it up.’
“It is a tragedy for generations that we did not do so. … I myself would have gone up there and wiped it off the ground completely so that there was no trace that there was ever a Mosque of Omar there.”
This was the first in many attempts to destroy Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock. While is the fanatic Jewish terrorists who again and again try to destroy Al-Aqsa, it is the Palestinians who are prevented from praying there and it is the Palestinians who get shot, wounded and arrested when they try to protect their holy sites from the Jewish terrorists. Here is a listing of some of the Jewish attempts to destroy Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock:
09.08.1967: IOF rabbi Shlomo Goren, later Israel’s chief Rabbi, leads 50 armed extremists onto Al-Haram Ash-Sharif saying “It is a holy commandment” for Jews to go to the Muslim grounds, which Jews call the Temple Mount”, and conducts prayers there.
21.08.1969: a Zionist terrorist attempt to burn down Al-Aqsa:
On the morning of 21.8.1969, an Australian-born terrorist, Denis Michael Rohan, entered Al-Aqsa mosque and set the 800 year old Nurrudin Zinki Mihrab on fire, destroying the old priceless wood and ivory pulpit sent from Aleppo by the Muslim ruler Saladin and part of the ceiling. When the fire broke out around 7:20 am, the Palestinians rushed to extinguish it and save the mosque. Fire brigades from Bethlehem, Ramallah even far-away Nablus and Hebron rushed to help save Al-Aqsa, while the Israeli Jerusalem fire brigades, which were the closest to the scene, were for “unexplained reasons” delayed. For another “unexplained reason” some 8 minutes after the fire brigades started extinguishing the fire, the water supply was cut off, keeping in mind that the water supply and water network were under the control of the Israeli Jerusalem municipality. The Palestinian firemen, Palestinian Jerusalemites and all Palestinians who rushed from everywhere to save Al-Aqsa transported water in buckets by hand until they were able to extinguish the fire. And as usual, the Zionist state invented excuse after excuse to “justify” this crime, claiming the Zionist attacker was deranged, a claim given to all those who commit crimes against Palestinians to protect them from prosecution. Also, although it took almost 5 hours to extinguish the fire, Israelis later claimed it took only one hour in a blatant effort to minimize the hideous crime. Three days before the terror attack, on 18.8.1969, Israeli Yediot Ahronot published a report emphasizing that the “Solomon Temple” would be rebuilt in the same spot that “Strangers tried to seize”. On 25.8.1969 the Jerusalem Post published a report on the life of Rohan, who was brought by the Jewish Agency to work in a Kibbutz and to be educated in Zionist teachings and Hebrew language, relating Rohan’s dreams of building “Solomon’s Temple” in Jerusalem. While this terror attack was condemned worldwide, wide segments of the world Jewry and Christian Zionists praised it. On 15.9.1969 and after several meetings, the UN Security Council in its Resolution 271 (1969) condemned the act of destruction and profanation of Al-Aqsa.
05.09.1980: Rabbi Meir Kahane of the Gush Emunim terrorist group attempts to blow up Al-Aqsa with explosives. 120 kg of high explosives and scores of bombs were accidentally discovered only 2 minutes before donation at a distance of 50 m from Al-Aqsa. It was a Friday, meaning a day when tens of thousands of Palestinians would gather in Al-Haram Ash-Sharif for prayer.
08.04.1982: explosives placed by the terror group Gush Emunim were discovered at the entrance to Al-Aqsa and dismantled. Beside the explosives were pamphlets threatening to blow up Al-Aqsa Mosque and physically liquidate the religious dignitaries. The threats were written in broken Arabic and issued from the Kiryat Arba illegal Jewish settlement.
11.04.1982: Zionists commit a massacre at Al-Aqsa Mosque, killing at least 3 Palestinians and injuring over 100:
On early morning on Sunday 11.4.1982 the heavily armed American Israeli soldier Alan Harry Goodman made his way to Al-Aqsa, killing 1 Palestinian unarmed Mosque guard at the Magharbeh Gate. The IOF soldiers who sat there did not interfere. Goodman then went inside the Noble Sanctuary compound and killed another two unarmed Palestinian guards before storming Al-Aqsa and opening fire at the worshippers there for a whole half an hour, without any interference or any attempts to stop him from the IOF. He then directed his fire at the pulpit, the chandeliers, the mosaic, the marble and the carpets, some of which caught fire. Goodman attempts to blow up the Dome of the Rock but is prevented by a Palestinian. When the Israeli soldiers finally interfered, it was to protect the killer: a curfew was imposed on the old city, and part of one of the walls of the Holy Sanctuary was demolished. The Israeli government, as usual, declared the soldier to be mentally ill, like all those “deranged people” before him who tried in strangely well-organized operations to destroy Al-Aqsa and with the full cooperation of the IOF present there. And if he was mentally ill, what was he doing serving in the Israeli army? Or is being mentally ill a prerequisite for service in the IOF? When after a short sentence, Goodman was released by order of the Israeli government, he boasted: “I fulfilled my mission.”
25.07.1982: Yoel Lerner of the terror group Meir Kahane Kach movement storms the Noble Sanctuary with plans to dynamite and destroy the Dome of the Rock.
10.03.1983: Armed Gush Emunim Jewish terrorists climb the walls onto the Noble Sanctuary and lay siege to Al-Aqsa. They have large quantities of explosives, automatic rifles and pistols. 29 of these terrorists are charged and held for trial, but are quit by an Israeli court 6 months later.
27.01.1984: a group of Jewish terrorists, led by Rabbi Moshe Levinger, one of the most militant of Jewish extremists, attempt to dynamite and destroy Al-Aqsa. They were found armed with 250 pounds of explosives, including dozens of grenades, boxes of dynamite and 12 rounds of mortar.
29.11.1994: Fanatic settlers from the “Chai Vekayam” movement attempt to break into Al-Haram Ash-Sharif compound. This terrorist movement seeks to reestablish the “Kingdom of Israel” and to recapture the ‘Temple Mount’, and its leader, Yehuda Ezion, was previously involved with the Jewish terrorist underground and participated in the plan to blow up the Dome of the Rock for which he was sentenced to 7 years prison.
30.12.1995: Israeli police arrest right-wing Jew Eyal Kenan in the Old City. Kenans plans to attack Al Aqsa with anti-tank missiles were known.
27.03.1997: Two explosive devises are found in a drainage pipe near Al-Aqsa Mosque.
13.05.1998: Israeli extremists set ablaze Bab Al-Ghawanmeh, one of the gates leading to Al-Aqsa compound, destroying a substantial part of the ancient gate.
07.01.2001: Israeli security officers warn publicly of security threats to Al-Haram Ash-Sharif by extremist Jewish groups.
17.10.2004: Israel’s security chiefs warn of the growing risk of an attack by Jewish extremists on Al-Aqsa Mosque.
16.05.2005: Israeli Jerusalem Police and the Shin Bet reveal that five Jews were arrested on suspicion of planning an attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque. All five were released soon after.
4. Repeated attempts by fanatic Jewish groups to enter Al-Haram Ash-Sharif and pray in Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock. Clashes erupted each time between the fanatic Jews and the Palestinians who were protecting Al-Aqsa, leading to the death and injury of hundreds of Palestinians. During over 100 registered attacks, the IOF always gave cover to and protected the Jewish attackers and participated in the massacres committed by these fanatic Zionists. Praying and performing religious rituals in the Noble Sanctuary compound are intended to make way for a division and a later complete take-over of the compound, similar to what they did with the Ibrahim mosque, where today Palestinians have control over only 10% of the mosque and the rest has been turned into a synagogue and other Jewish facilities. Those involved and dedicated to the destruction of Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock include:
1the Zionist state with its various authorities,
2 Fanatic Jewish terror groups,
3 Christian fundamentalists,
4 Wealthy Jews from the United States and elsewhere.
Jewish and Christian Zionists join efforts in order to fulfil the dream of building the “third temple” and hastening the return of the Messiah. For this purpose, they established the “The Temple Mount Faithful Foundation” which has offices in Los Angeles and in Jerusalem. Members include Jewish Zionists living in the United States and elsewhere, fanatic Jewish organizations and fanatic American Christian evangelists. They provide financial support to Jewish militant groups in Occupied Palestine to carry on with their plans to destroy Al-Aqsa. One member of the board of Directors is Stanley Goldfoot. Goldfoot, a Jew from South Africa, was a member of the Irgun Z’vai Leumi Jewish terror group and was one of the four Jewish terrorists who placed bombs in 1946 under the King David Hotel that killed some 100 Muslim, Christian and Jewish civilians.
“The contemplated projects of this foundation as they appear in a brochure printed by it are the following: “1. Jewish Temple Foundation office at the Temple Mount area in Jerusalem. 2. The establishment of a Temple Mount area in Jerusalem. 3. Assistance in land and buildings redemption by Jews in Israel. 4. Freedom for Jews and Christians to worship on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. 5. The use of geophysical methods for archaeological surveys in Jerusalem. 6. Preparations for the construction of the Third Temple in Jerusalem. 7. Preparation of films and video presentations related to the Temple Mount. 8. Other projects as necessary and as funds are made available.” (Source: http://www.jerusalemites.org/crimes/crimes_against_islam/1.htm)
In 1999 the “Temple Mount Faithful” urged wealthy Jews from around the world to help seize a number of Arab houses in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque and circulated a model drawing of the envisioned Temple to be build at the site of Al-Aqsa. Also, in 2003 a group of Jewish Americans launched a campaign entitled “Temple Mount – Heart of the Nation” and calling for strengthening Jewish presence at Al-Haram Ash-Sharif. Christian Zionists endorse and financially support the attempts to destroy Al-Aqsa out of their belief that “God has planned epochs of time (“dispensations”) such as an “in-gathering” of Jews in the ancient land of Canaan. One epoch, they say, includes the present time when Jews are obligated to build a Jewish temple and re-institute animal sacrifice. Such epochs or “dispensations” are necessary, they say before Christ can return.” They donate generously and give “their gold wedding rings and gold earrings to finance the mosque’s destruction. They know its destruction might well trigger wars culminating in Armageddon, but they welcome this. They push Armageddon along, saying they, as “Born-Again Christians,” will be spared any suffering, because they will be “Raptured,” wafted up to heaven to view the slaughter below.” (Source: http://www.wrmea.com/archives/March_2000/0003016.html)
The support of the Christian Zionists is not limited to financial support, as in the case of the Australian Christian Zionist Denis Michael Rohan, who on 21.08.1969 attempted to burn down Al-Aqsa (see above). As always, the Zionist state claimed Rohan was deranged and while his terror act was condemned worldwide, Jewish and Christian Zionists praised it. In 1999, members of the American sect ‘Concerned Christians’ are arrested after their plans to destroy Al-Aqsa and build a temple in its place before committing group suicide on the eve of 2000 are exposed.
Jewish Zionists are two groups: religious fanatics and secular Jews. While the religious fanatics want to destroy Al-Aqsa to build their “third temple” and hasten the return of the Jewish Massiah, secular Jews want its destruction for political reasons. There are many fanatic Jewish groups working in Occupied Palestine and bent on destroying Al-Aqsa in order to build a “third temple” in its place. These militant settler groups are heavily armed and well-equipped with explosives, machine guns and bombs. Some have militants as leaders, other are led by fanatic rabbis.
“Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael Faithful”
One very active fanatic militant Jewish group is the “Temple Mount Faithful”, lead by fanatic Zionist and former IOF officer Gershon Solomon. This group is an ultra-fanatic Jewish group dedicated to the so-called rebuilding of the “Solomon Temple” on the site of Al-Aqsa Mosque after demolishing it. Their attempts to storm Al-Aqsa and pray in it are numerous and often ended in clashes (see list for chronology of attacks). And despite their militant nature and their call for the destruction of Al-Aqsa, Israeli authorities often give them permission to enter Al-Haram Ash-Sharif to conduct Jewish rituals and even provide them with protection. The worst of their attacks led to Al-Aqsa massacre, when on 8.10.1990 17 Palestinians (some sources mention 18, others 23) were killed and hundreds injured. The members of the “Temple Mount Faithful” had announced their intention to enter Al-Aqsa and place a “foundation stone” for a “Third Temple”. The IOF protected these fanatic settlers and opened fire at the Palestinians who had rushed to protect Al-Aqsa. A farce Israeli investigation committee was set, and as usual its results put the blame on the victims: “The report confirms clearly that the responsibility and fault for escalating [the conflict] lies on the side of the thousands of Muslim extremists, who were attacking the holy place of the Jews.”
The most active among these fanatic Jewish groups is the “Bloc of the Faithful” or Gush Emunim, which is a settler movement composed of militant Jewish settlers and led by militant rabbis such as Meir Kahane and Moshe Levinger. Gush Emunim is associated with Stanley Goldfoot and the “Temple Mount Faithful” fanatic group, and its members believe that they can hasten the return of the Massiah through Jewish settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. They are heavily armed and have tried a number of times to blow up Al-Aqsa. On 05.09.1980 rabbi Meir Kahane attempted to blow up Al-Aqsa with explosives. Two years later, on 08.04.1982, explosives placed by Gush Emunim were discovered at the entrance to Al-Aqsa and dismantled. On 10.03.1983, armed Gush Emunim Jewish terrorists climbed the walls onto Al-Haram Ash-Sharif and lay siege to Al-Aqsa Mosque with the intent of blowing it up. On 27.01.1984, members of the group led by Rabbi Moshe Levinger attempted to dynamite and destroy Al-Aqsa.
Other fanatic Jewish groups include Chai Vekayam led by Yehuda Ezion, a member of the Jewish terrorist underground who was involved in the attempt to blow up the Dome of the Rock. This group seeks to destroy Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock to re-establish the “Kingdom of Israel”. With the protection of the Israeli police, members of this group were allowed to enter Al-Aqsa compound. In 1999, Chai Vekayam started a campaign to raise funds for rebuilding the Jewish temple on the site of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Another group is the Meir Kahane Kach terrorist organization, responsible for the Ibrahimi mosque massacre 1994, and the Bitar Zionist movement. These groups either work alone or, as in several cases, carry out joint terror attacks.
Covering up and protecting those Jewish terrorists is the Zionist state. Not only did the Israeli occupation authorities seize parts of Al-Haram Ash-Sharif, such as Buraq Wall, they dig tunnels, allow excavations, surround the Noble Sanctuary with illegal settlements and plan on turn the whole compound into a Jewish site. The Israeli High Court allows fanatic Jews, who had previously threatened to blow up Al-Aqsa, to enter it and worship there. The IOF protects these fanatic militant settlers and allows them to desecrate Al-Haram Ash-Sharif, and when these fanatic Jews attempt to blow up Al-Aqsa or commit a massacre, it is the Palestinians who are punished: whenever clashes erupt between fanatic Jews and Palestinians, the Israeli police kills, wounds and arrests the Palestinians. Also, the Israeli authorities places restrictions on Palestinians wishing to pray in Al-Aqsa, whereas Palestinians from occupied West Bank and Gaza have no access no East Jerusalem nor to their holy sites there. After every Jewish terror attack, Israeli authorities claim it to be an isolated incident, conducted by a mentally ill person and goes on to strengthen its grip on Al-Aqsa compound. And if it happens, and a Zionist terrorist is charged, it is sure the Zionist terrorist will be quitted soon after. It often happens that these fanatics are openly refused access to Al-Haram Ash-Sharif by the Israeli authority, to be given the permission two or three days later. The increase in Jewish terror attacks, combines with the presence and cooperation of Israeli soldiers, shows the intent of the Zionist state to destroy Al-Aqsa and erase Palestinian presence and rights in the city. On 12.04.1982, New York Times correspondent David Shipler wrote about Israeli troops: “Just before going, one of them, with a laugh, threw a tear gas grenade near the (Al Aqsa) Mosque upwind of the main door. Smoke from the perfectly placed canister blew into the mosque, and worshippers came out coughing and wiping their eyes. One elderly man was carried to an ambulance. A few of the troops walked away laughing.” The Zionist massacre committed in Al-Aqsa on 11.04.1982 was carried out by the American Israeli soldier Alan Harry Goodman. As Goodman killed unarmed Palestinian Mosque guards on his way to blow up Al-Aqsa, nearby Israeli soldiers did not interfere. Another example of the involvement of the Israeli authorities in the plans to destroy Al-Aqsa is the appointment in 1994 of Meir Davidson as municipal adviser on Palestinian properties. Davidson is a senior official of Ateret Cohanim, an organization whose aim is destruction of Al-Aqsa mosque.
Yesterday, while waiting for my train, I went into a bookstore and checked the books and magazines there. There were a number of traveller dictionaries on display. The French-German dictionary had a picture of the Eifel towel on its cover, the English-German one had a picture of the London tower, and the Hebrew-German one had a picture of the Dome of the Rock. Now, why would the Zionist state allow a picture of one of the most holy of Islamic sites be used as reference to their “state”? This reminded me of a poster I once saw in a tourist office. It was an advertisement to visit the Zionist entity, and the picture used to promote this entity was again the Dome of the Rock. There stood the Dome of the Rock, in all its splendour, and above it the title: come and visit Israel. Why would Israel allow tourist offices to promote the Dome of the Rock as the ultimate Jewish attraction? This has nothing to do with religious tolerance or anything of the sort. The Zionists are the last to talk about religious tolerance, for they are well-known for their record of restricting the religious freedom of Palestinian Muslims and Christians. Who was it that besieged the Nativity Church? Who was it that destroyed one of the oldest churches in the Ramallah area? Attacks on religious site are not only restricted to Muslim sites. Many Christian churches, convents and institutions were destroyed and desecrated by the Zionists. Christian cemeteries were desecrated and vandalized by IOF soldiers. Israeli soldiers and settlers threw stink bombs inside churches and at Christian priests. There are numerous examples. To mention only a couple:
27.04.1990: the Church of the Holy Sepulchre locked its doors for first time in 800 years, and all other Christian Shrines in the country also closed in protest over the presence of Jewish settlers in St. John’s Hospice in Jerusalem.
31.05.2002: the medieval Christian church St. Barbara in Aboud was destroyed by Israeli explosives.
From 02.04.2002 to 10.05.2002: The Israeli Siege of the Nativity Church. The Statue of the Virgin Mary was hit by Israeli bullets, St. Catherine’s Chapel was hit by Israeli gunfire, several rooms in the church were destroyed by fire caused by Israeli shells and sniper bullets, windows were broken, and the church’s Manger square was destroyed by the chains of Israeli tanks.
And in the process of building the illegal Jewish settlement Har Homa, a number of religious Christian sites located on Abu Ghneim were destroyed, including the Al-Istiraha church from the 5th century.
While the Ramallah Authority insists on “negotiating” with Israel on trivial issues, Israel continues its plans to Judaize Jerusalem and obliterating the Islamic nature of the Noble Sanctuary. Hundreds of settler houses are being built in the Old City and around Al-Haram Ash-Sharif, synagogues are being established around it and more are planned inside its compound. Palestinians are being expelled from Silwan and Ras Al-Aoumd and their homes demolished to make place for new Jewish houses and “parks”. The aim is to create a purely Jewish city, and delete all political and religious claims Palestinians might have over Jerusalem. To do it, the Zionist state has to deal with the 2 mosques: Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock. Both are facing terror attacks from fanatic Jews, threatened by collapse due to Israeli excavations beneath them and are being promoted as “Israeli”. Al-Aqsa, which is the third holiest mosque in Islam, is too important for Muslims to be left standing. Thus, being of no much use to the Zionists, it destruction to build a Jewish temple or at least its division between Muslims and Jews is being promoted along various Zionist levels. The Dome of the Rock on the other hand is intensively being promoted as “part of Israel”, in the process of “changing” into a synagogue. Religious Jews believe that the Stone inside the mosque is the “Foundation Stone”, and the Dome of the Rock had been illustrated in religious Jewish works as early as the 16th century. So, why not take over Al-Haram Ash-Sharif with all its surroundings and turn it into a purely Jewish site? In 2003, Public Security Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said that with or without an agreement with the Palestinians, the “Temple Mount” would soon be opened to Jews for visits and prayers, saying “that is the right, the moral and the logical thing.” And in the same year, the Yesha Rabbi Council issued a statement calling for the establishment of Israeli sovereignty on the ‘Temple Mount’ and opening it to Jewish prayer, saying “The Temple Mount belongs solely to the Jewish people and there is no room on it for cooperation with strangers.” Then, on 04.09.2003, in reversion of long-held halakhic rulings, the Yesha Rabbis Council issued a ruling which allows Jews to visit the Al-Aqsa compound because “the doubts have been removed” about the location of the original temples, and that the danger of violating the sanctity of the place no longer existed.
And while the Palestinians fight amongst themselves over a fake “authority”, while the Arab leaders are racing to please the US and Israel, and while the Arab and Muslim nations watch and do nothing, the Zionists are vigorously working on establishing their so-called “Third Temple” in the heart of Al-Aqsa, with the support of the Zionist government and fundamentalist Christians. In 1989, Rabbi Israel Ariel, head of the Temple Institute, said: “We believe that a temple will arise despite all the problems. It is the force that unites The Jewish people”. His institute has reconstructed 38 of the 103 ritual implements required for bringing sacrifices at the temple. These efforts are supported by the Zionist government through its Religious Affairs Ministry. Representatives of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate travelled throughout Europe looking for embryos of the red heifer, used in the temple for spiritual purification. At a press conference, it was announced that several embryos were found and they will be implanted into cows in Israel. And according to Jewish Scholars,” the temple will not be built until a majority of the Jewish people lives in the biblical land of Israel”. Addressing the Israeli National Defence College Graduation Ceremony on 28.07.2009, Netanyahu reminded the Israelis that “For the first time since the period of the Second Temple, the majority of Jews will live in their homeland.” There is actually no Jewish majority in Occupied Palestine, but the message was most probably that the time had come for a third temple.
I started writing this paper on Monday, 28.09.2008. Today, Sunday, o4.09.2009, clashes erupted between Palestinians and the IOF when the IOF closed off Al-Haram Ash-Sharif and prevented Palestinians from reaching it. Yet another Israeli escalation within one week, as Zionist attacks on Al-Aqsa grow and the calls for dividing it or even making it a solely Jewish site are made almost every day. And during this week, another crime against Palestine and its people was committed; another joint PNA-Zionist crime, namely the decision of the Ramallah-PNA to defer the vote on the Goldstone Report that highlighted Israel’s war crimes in Gaza. The same Ramallah-PNA that keeps silent, dead silent, over the Judaization of Jerusalem and the attacks on Al-Aqsa. The PNA has proved once again where its interests lie, namely with the Zionist state. Remains only to ask ourselves about the rest of those claiming to represent us:
Where is the PLO and its various factions who claim to fight for a free Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital?
Where is the PFLP, the DFLP, and all the rest?
Where are the representatives of the various initiatives and campaigns?
Where are the NGO’s?
Where are all of those whose statements we often read, who representatives we often see and hear on TV?
Where are they? When will they wake up from their coma?
We are neither blind nor deaf, we know where they are; they issue a statement every now and then, to return to their coma and await their cheques from the PNA. They issue a shy condemnation here and there, appear on TV and claim to represent the interest of Palestine, and then limit Palestinian resistance to a Friday “peaceful” demonstration here and there, and the rest of the week they return to their offices and their work and their “office-activism”, while Israel confiscates more land, builds more settlements and Judaizes Jerusalem. We used to criticize Arab and Islamic nations for only issuing condemnations, and our political parties, our initiatives, our movements have become content with condemnations.
The Palestinian people; the children of the martyrs, the children of the prisoners, the children of the refugees, the children of those who lost their lands for illegal settlements, the children of Haifa, Yaffa, Acca, Nazareth, Nablus, Jenin, Gaza, Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah and Jerusalem will have the final word: Palestine will be free, and Jerusalem will be free. Those working hand in hand with the Zionist state and defending its interests and those shyly condemning the crimes of the Ramallah-PNA should realize that the Palestinian people will never forget, nor forgive.