Israelis scheming to replace Aqsa Mosque with ‘third temple’: Report
Israeli institutions and organizations are reportedly awaiting the regime’s go-ahead for the construction of a so-called “third temple” in place of al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in the Israeli-occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
The Palestinian-run International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) independent news organization carried the report on Monday, citing Israeli television channels.
Israeli Zionists claim they have the right to build a third temple in line with “scriptural prophecies” to follow the tradition of the first and second ones built in ancient times.
Back in June, Israeli Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Uri Ariel said “the first temple was destroyed in 586 BCE, the second temple in 70 CE,” adding that he wished to see a third one built.
The Israeli media, IMEMC reported, alleged that the Israeli bodies favoring the construction of the temple had received “wide political and popular support.”
“These organizations explained that they are ready to bring the equipment and tools to start building the temple in the place of both the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque,” it added, citing Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency.
“They further stated that the total time needed to accomplish the building is three years, according to their plans.”
The al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are situated in Haram al-Sharif or Temple Mount in Jerusalem al-Quds, which was occupied by Israel in 1967.
The mosque is the third holiest site in Islam after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina. The site is also holy to Christians and Jews.
In August 2015, Israel imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the compound, which is under the administration of Jordan, sparking a fresh wave of tensions with Palestinians. Over 230 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis in recent months.
According to the agreement signed between the Tel Aviv regime and the Jordanian government after Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem al-Quds in 1967, visits to the compound by Israelis are permitted, but non-Muslim worship is prohibited.
On Sunday, fresh clashes erupted near the mosque after over 300 Israeli settlers entered the compound and performed rituals inside in violation of the agreement.
Muslims consider the trespass into the al-Aqsa Mosque yard as part of an Israeli Judaization campaign that targets the holy city of al-Quds and a provocation.
Jordan strongly denounced Israel for attacking Palestinian worshipers at the site and allowing “Zionist extremists” to enter the compound.
Over the past decades, Tel Aviv has been trying to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem al-Quds by constructing illegal settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.