4.1. The Temple Mount in Jerusalem

The Spotlight has now moved to the Centre of the stage of Time and Prophecy
Ultimate Decoy of the Final Battle for Ownership of Jerusalem

The closing years of the millennium have seen the intensifying of “The Battle for Jerusalem”, which has now revealed itself as the culminating flashpoint in the Middle East Crisis.  The Final Countdown to Armageddon has begun!

For decades, the Arab-Israel conflict was a potential fuse to the igniting of an international military confrontation – dreaded of nuclear magnitude.  The historic signing of the Oslo Peace Treaty on 15 Sept. 1993, suddenly turned the spotlight onto the back stage of the world drama, as Jerusalem, in glittering array, stepped challengingly through the darkened crimson curtains of history, onto  the centre of the stage  –  revealing itself as the pivotal, contentious issue in the millennia-old struggle for control of it’s soul.

As early as 1967, after Israeli troops occupied Jerusalem, bringing Jews back for praying at the foundations of their ancient, Roman destroyed Temple for the first time in 2000 years, Jerusalem was already important enough to warrant several United Nations Resolutions to restrict Jewish claims on Jerusalem, their ancient Capital.

Gradually it is becoming clear, that not Arab interests, not Palestinian oppression, not Jewish occupation, not territory, nor Peace, is really the issue – but, control of Jerusalem, now emerges as the flashpoint to, what Ancient Prophecies, as long as 3000 years ago, predicted would be the Cause for a Final World War of catastrophic magnitude – marking “The End of the World”.

Suddenly the Jewish 3000-year old claim to it’s ancient Capital – the central theme of Jewish prayer throughout its 2000-year exile from the Land – is vehemently opposed by the Palestinians who have never yet had a capital city.  And behind the scenes, the Pope is making urgent overtures for internationalisation of Jerusalem under his control as Peacemaker.  In concert, the whole world has turned against Israel and its Divinely mandated right to Jerusalem.

Why is control of Jerusalem so important to these opposing interests?

Recent developments in the Middle East Crisis, have been drawing the spotlight onto the real nucleus of this explosive subject, which until now has been totally overlooked by the news media, namely the real ‘inner soul’ of Jerusalem – the Sacred Temple Mount.  Here currently stands an internationally well known landmark – the golden domed Muslim Bayt al Maqdas, known as the Dome of the Rock – and next to it, the silver domed Al Aqsa Mosque (Masjid e Aqsa).

This, to Muslims, is the third holiest site in the world.  For Jews,  it is the exact Site where anciently two successive Jewish Temples stood, over a period of some 1000 years preceding the Common Era – First, the Temple of Solomon, a masterpiece of ancient architecture until its destruction at the time of the Babilonian Exile, six centuries BCE.  Second, the Temple of Herod, where Jesus, the contending Jewish Messiah, attended Jewish worship Services.  It also is the Site where,  according to the Bible, the future Third Temple of the Jews are to be erected and where God will appear in Great Power at the time of the War of Armageddon.

And that is what makes this Temple Mount Site, which is pivotal to the opposing interests of the world’s three major religions, the real flash point in “The Battle for Jerusalem.


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Note: The purpose of these news items is to establish  prophetic trends.  These News items  therefore do not age and new items are not added while the same situation persists. The alert reader can then follow the trends in the general news media.

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October 18, 2012

Treatment of Jews on the Temple Mount

by Michael Freund, The Jerusalem Post

A little more than a week ago, I ascended the Temple Mount together with a group of more than 50 Jews from Ra’anana’s Ohel Ari synagogue.

Needless to say, all of us immersed in a mikva (ritual bath) prior to the trip, refrained from wearing leather shoes, and walked only in areas that are permitted by halacha

Guided by the indefatigable Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute, and led by our congregation’s Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth, we got a firsthand look at the situation which prevails at Judaism’s holiest site.

Put simply, it is absolutely infuriating.

Brazen discrimination is practiced against religious Jews, who are singled out for special treatment by Israel’s police that is not accorded anyone professing a different faith.

After going through a security checkpoint, a gruff policeman told our group, “you must stay together at all times, you must move quickly through the site and do not pray. You are not allowed to pray

Not exactly the welcome that I expected to receive at a place of such profound significance to Jewish history and destiny.

Throughout our visit, we were accompanied by five to six Israeli Arab policemen and two or three officials from the Muslim Wakf which administers the site. In addition to hurrying us along and brusquely interrupting our guide, their primary task was to keep an eye on our lips, lest anyone dare to move them and utter a silent prayer to his Creator.

There were other groups on the Mount at the same time as ours, including Christian pilgrims from Romania, various non-religious tourists, and Israeli Arabs. None of them were subjected to the same watchful scrutiny.

In the week prior to our visit, the police had arrested 15 Jews for praying or being suspected of praying (whatever that means) on the Mount. Later, when I asked a border policeman why Jews were barred from praying, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “it would upset the Arabs.”

The state of affairs on the Temple Mount is intolerable and untenable.

Basic freedoms, such as the right to worship and free speech, are being trampled, and Jews are subjected to discrimination unheard of anywhere else in the Western world.

A way must be found to enable Jews to exercise their right to commune with their Maker, without further stoking hatred and intolerance. In fact, there is a simple and very practical solution to this

predicament: build a synagogue on the Temple Mount where Jews would be free to pray as they wish.

NOW BEFORE you start rolling your eyes at the idea, consider the

following: for over four centuries after the Caliph Omar conquered the land of Israel in 633-4 CE, a synagogue and Jewish house of study operated on the Temple Mount and Jews were able to pray there freely.

Among others, this is attested to by Rabbi Abraham bar Chiya HaNassi, a leading Spanish rabbinical authority of the 12th century, who wrote in his book Megilat Megaleh that, “at the beginning, after the Romans destroyed the Temple, Israel was not prevented from coming and praying there, and similarly the kings of Ishmael enacted a beneficent custom and allowed Israel to come to the Temple Mount and build a house of prayer and study.”

Furthermore, he notes, “all the exiles of Israel who lived near the Temple Mount would ascend on festivals and holidays and pray there.”

In other words, there is a clear historical precedent that even during periods when the Mount was under Muslim control, the rights of Jews were respected. So now that it is under Israeli sovereignty, should we accept anything less? Even after the synagogue was closed in 1080, individual Jews continued to pray on the Mount, such as the great medieval Jewish authority Maimonides. In the 13th century, the Meiri, one of the greatest commentators on the Talmud, noted in his comments on Tractate Shevuot (16a) that there was a custom among Jews to enter the Temple Mount.

More recently, prominent rabbinical authorities such as former chief rabbis Shlomo Goren and Mordechai Eliyahu have supported the idea of Jews ascending the Temple Mount and constructing a synagogue there.

Indeed, after Israel liberated the Temple Mount in 1967, Jews prayed and studied there regularly.

Rabbi Goren, who served as chief rabbi of the IDF in the 1967 Six Day War, wrote in his monumental work Har HaBayit (p.14), that after the site’s liberation, “in the framework of the IDF Chief Rabbinate, we held symposiums and conducted organized public prayers on the Temple Mount ­ morning, afternoon and evening ­ and we read from the Torah on the Sabbath and on Mondays and Thursdays.”

Fearful of angering the Arabs, the Israeli government later put an end to Rabbi Goren’s initiative.

But the idea of building a synagogue on the Temple Mount did not die, and six years ago, in October 2006, National Union MK Uri Ariel proposed a similar measure, saying at the time, “a synagogue will not harm the status quo and it will not come in place of a mosque. The Arabs can do their thing in the mosque, and we will do ours in a synagogue” on the Mount.

Ariel has it exactly right.

Building a synagogue on the Temple Mount will not exacerbate tensions with the Arabs, it will alleviate them.

By preventing Jews from praying on the Mount, and mistreating those who do, the police are actually fanning the flames of outrage, rather than dousing them.

The best way to prevent friction on the Temple Mount is to accommodate the needs and wishes of both Jews and Arabs, rather than squelching one at the expense of the other.

The Temple Mount is our holiest site, one that has served as the focus of our people’s dreams and yearnings for the past 2,000 years.

Visiting it was a powerful spiritual experience, one that touched me to the core of my very being.

But it was distressing to see the extent to which Israel’s government defers to threats of Arab unrest at the expense of its own citizens and their basic rights.

Building a synagogue on the Temple Mount will underline Israel’s sovereignty, while also guaranteeing the freedom of access to all religions that is at the heart of governmental policy. It would give the Muslims a chance to demonstrate just how tolerant they truly are.

We don’t begrudge them the right to pray, so why should they begrudge us? Just before the leaving the Mount, I leaned over and pretended to whisper in my 12-year old son’s ear, reciting the section from the daily Amida prayer, “May You return in compassion to Jerusalem Your city, and dwell in it as You promised. May you rebuild it rapidly in our days, an everlasting structure….”

Just then, my son interrupted me, saying, “Daddy, there is a policeman running at us.” I looked up and saw the officer, his face contorted in anger, as if I had just stolen his donuts.

The cop barked at us, yelling that we should leave immediately, which my son and I proceeded to do, but not before I stubbornly completed the rest of the prayer: “May You install within it soon the throne of David. Blessed are You, O Lord, who builds Jerusalem.”

May the day soon come when that prayer, and others like it, can be recited freely by Jews in the place where the Temple once stood, and will yet stand again.

Mughrabi Bridge, Temple Mount


Explanation:  Looking East – The Wailing Wall Prayer square. with the 2 ramps on its right, leading to the Temple Square.

The temporary roofed Ramp in the right hand foreground (blue tinted)

To the right of it, the old silver domed ramp on a mound of earth which covers the ancient ravine which also passes under the prayer square.

The Al Aqsa Mosque is between the clumps of trees on the Temple Square.

The Dome of the Rock, Muslim Temple on the Site of the ancient Jewish Temples is directly outside the left side of the photo, on the Temple Square, to the left of the Al Aksa Mosque.

Refer to the photo at the top of this Page – which is taken from the opposite (Eastern side), looking West.

Source:  www.thegoldenreport.com

Feb. 13, 2007

Ruins discovered at Mughrabi site
Yaniv Salama-Scheer,  THE JERUSALEM POST

As the controversy swirls around the construction of the new bridge leading to the Temple Mount at the Mughrabi Gate, archeologists have already uncovered finds from the medieval period and early Islamic era that shed new light on Jerusalem’s history.

“We have dug three meters down and discovered massive walls which we believe are from the early Islamic Umayyad period,” Jerusalem’s chief archeologist Yuval Baruch said. “Because of its proximity to the Wohl Archeological Park, I personally hope to find the rest of the Umayyad palaces.”

The archeological park currently has the only uncovered ruins of the Umayyad
palaces which were destroyed in 749 CE by an earthquake. They were built in the eighth century as the seat for the Caliphate when visiting Jerusalem. The uncovered complex includes a harem for the caliph’s wives, bathhouses, a kitchen, a dining area, and quarters for the caliph’s family and servants. The palace also featured a bridge that allowed the caliphs direct access to the Aksa Mosque

Among the findings at the site currently being excavated for the rebuilding of the bridge to the Mughrabi Gate, the archeologists have found pipes belonging to a medieval water system, but for Baruch, “the most interesting find is that we have found the evidence which suggests that right under the Umayyad ruins are Byzantine ruins [135-638], and under these, we believe there are Herodian roads and other ruins from the Second Temple period.” (Ed. These are thee facts that the Palestinians try to smother).

“The main excavations of the Umayyad and Byzantine ruins at the Mugrabi area
will begin in a couple of days, and if we are patient enough, in five or six months time we could find Second Temple period ruins” to add to what has already been discovered in the adjacent archeological park, Baruch added. (Refer ‘Digs, Lies and the Mugrabi Bridge – next article hereafter).

“We have uncovered pieces of Jerusalem’s history,” Baruch said, “but we are unsatisfied with the amount of archeological results in Jerusalem. We need to continue with our work so we can find out more of the history of these buildings which gives us more information.”

Baruch also expressed concern that if the excavations stopped, the new ruins would be damaged if they are not immediately and properly salvaged.

The findings at the excavation site could pose a problem for the initial project to reinforce the Mugrabi bridge. The original plan would have seen pillars placed under the bridge for support. Now, due to the findings, Baruch acknowledged that some re\planning might be necessary.

February 17, 2007

Digs, lies and the Mugrabi Bridge

By Nadav Shragai
HaAretz Daily Newspapers, Jerusalem

The Mugrabi bridge plan exposes the great Muslim denial – the denial of. the Jewish bond to Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the Temple.

Who among us knows, for example, that the al-Aqsa Mosque, which according to contemporary studies was built some 1,400 years ago, is now claimed to have been built at the time of the world’s creation, during the days of Adam or Abraham? And who is aware of the fact that increasing numbers of Muslim academics and religious leaders claim it existed even before Jesus and Moses and that Islam preceded Judaism in Jerusalem?

Today, thousands of Islamic rulings, publications and sources deny the Jewish roots in Jerusalem and its holy places. They claim that the Temple didn’t even exist in Jerusalem but was located in Nab1us or Yemen. An Islamic legal pronouncement (fatwa) on tbe Jerusalem Waqf (Muslim religious trust) Web site says King Solomon and King Herod did not build the Temple at all, but merely refurbished an existing structure that had been there from the days of Adam. Today, many Muslims call the Temple “the greatest fraud crime in history” and many Muslim adjudicators attach the world “so¬called” to the word “temple.”

Muslim religious figures attempt to portray the Jewish presence in Jerusalem as having been short-term. The Western Wall is a Muslim site, they argue, and say Jewish affinity for it was invented for political purposes and dates only to the 19th and 20th centuries. Their aim is to disprove the centrality of Jerusalem to Judaism. Above all they stress the “precedence and supremacy of Islam-over Judaism, which contaminates the city’s Muslim character.”

Muslim religious leaders, with at least partial academic backing, are today rewriting Jerusalem’s history and introducing new terms and content into Muslim and Palestinian discourse. These terms are total nonsense, even according to known Muslim historians like al Makdessi’ (who lived in the 11th century).

It is therefore easy to understand why the Muslims are so afraid of archaeological digs, not only on the Temple Mount itself but also around it, although these digs also shed light on Jerusalem’s Muslim history. Muslims fear these excavations, not because they physically endanger al-Aqsa’s foundations, but because they undermine the tissue of lies proclaiming that the Jews have no valid historical roots in the city and its holy sites.

17 July 2001

A Flare of Sudden Renewed Jewish Interest in the Temple Mount

As the Jewish commemoration of Tisha B’Av approaches, this year (29 July 2001), sudden flares of interest are shooting up all over.

For the last 2 years, reports of flagrant desecration of the Temple Mount by the Palestinians, have been shunned by the Israeli government and authorities (ref.  reports elsewhere on this Page).

On 17 July 2001 the Knesset’s Education and Culture Committee heard and examined evidence by the commander of  police in Jerusalem’s Old City about a large electric saw which is hacking away at stones every day on the Temple Mount.  Photographs of the four-meter wide, one meter high power tool, with sawed-off stones lying next to it, were shown to the committee.  Also submitted were photographs taken from a helicopter rented by members of the Committee to Prevent the Destruction of Temple Mount Antiquities, showing a bulldozer on the Mount on July 4th.  At one point in the meeting, the Department of Antiquities director walked out in protest against the submission of evidence.

19 July 2001 – The Rabbinical Council of Judea, Samaria and Gaza called on all rabbis to bring their communities to visit the Temple Mount – “in accordance with halacha (religious law)” – and it urged the Israel public to do the same.

This is the first time a group of rabbis representing a substantial segment of the religious Zionist public, has ruled it is permissible for Jews to ascend the Temple Mount, as long as certain areas are avoided. Most leading Torah sages have ruled that Jews are not allowed on the mount at all, lest they accidentally tread on the sites to which they would have been forbidden entry when the Temple was standing.

The Rabbis, who met in Jerusalem, plan to ask the Yesha Council of Jewish settlements to organize mass trips to the mount from the settlements.

They concluded their meeting by “calling on all the rabbis of Israel to put their shoulders into saving the honor of the Temple Mount, which is closed to Jews [since the outbreak of the Intifada in Oct 2000], and to participate in demonstrations and marches that will take place on Tisha b’Av.  Rabbis who disagree with the council’s new ruling, were urged to show respect for it nevertheless, arguing that Jewish apathy toward the Temple Mount is one cause of the difficulties Israel is currently experiencing.

Rabbi Yitzhak Shilat added that since religious law does permit Jews to visit certain areas of the mount, “our right, obligation and ability to pray on the mount is many times greater than that of the Muslims, and we need to say this openly.”

This is a surprising change in Rabbinic attitude towards the holiest Site in Judaism.  An essay by Rabbi Levi Zipperstein which was circulated on the Internet at this time also, pointed out that “the vast majority of Rabbis of this generation, have prohibited the Jewish people from entering the Temple Mount.”  His discourse examined the rights and obligations of Jews to visit the Mount within certain parameters.

“The impression that world Jewry now maintains concerning the issue of entering and maintaining control over the Temple Mount, is a false one”, he writes.  In support of this statement, he quotes various Rabbinic leaders of the past on the rights and obligations of Jews to enter there.  “Perhaps the most important aspect of the Temple Mount issue, deals with the concept of ‘conquest’.  that is to say, gaining and maintaining control over the Temple Mount”, he concludes.  He emphasises the Torah directives to conquer and settle the Land, removing foreign ownership especially of the Temple Mount.

“After 2000 years of prayers, asking that G-d return us to Zion and speedily rebuild the Temple, what excuse could there be for preferring the Wall of Tears over the House of G-d?”

“Remaining in a state of atrophy, will not only allow the status quo to continue, it will cause needless and unimaginable suffering to the Jewish people.  Just as we witnessed the destruction of six million Jews because of inaction concerning the return to Zion,  so will we endure terrible tragedy should we opt for the same inaction concerning the Temple Mount”, he concludes. “If the Mount is redeemed, and the Temple replaces the desecrations that now stand in its place, then the Jewish obligation to the G-d of Israel is attained.”

On July 19th 2001, the “Temple Mount Preservation Act of 2001″ was introduced at a press conference in Washington D.C. in the USA.

The bill calls for the cutoff of all funding to the Palestinian Authority because of their desecration of the Temple Mount and sends a clear message to Yasir Arafat that it will no longer be tolerated. The bill specifically asks that all assistance [US dollars] provided to the Palestinian Authority, or its instrumentalities be halted unless the President certifies that no excavation of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is under way.

Enclosed within the bill is a detailed description of illegal activities by the Palestinian Authority after their subversion of the WAQF (Islamic Religious Trust), the Islamic group responsible for the daily oversight of the Mount.  Additionally, the bill details illegal construction and destruction of theTemple Mount  It also  expresses its concern over Yasir Arafat’s and the Palestinian Authority’s actions as an attempt to destroy all historical evidence of Jewish presence on Temple Mount thereby discrediting Israel’s claim to sovereignty over the Mount.

It is the conviction of the publishers of BIBLE REVELATIONS, that when the Jews return to the Temple Mount and insist on their God-given Rights to the Land, thereby reinstating its Sacredness to the God of Israel,  the Blessings on Israel will return, the current devastating drought will be broken,  the hold of the Palestinian usurpers will be smashed and security and freedom within the Borders of the Promised Land, will return to its Jewish inhabitants – the Divinely mandated heirs thereto.

27 June 2000

The Approaching Battle for Jerusalem and the War of Gog and Magog

Copy of a Newsletter published by The Temple Mount Faithful
(an Orthodox Jewish organization, Jerusalem,  Israel)

As we have previously stated in this news-letter, Israel is now living in the most critical time in her history. On the one hand Israel is in the midst of her godly end-time redemption while on the other hand she is in the midst of the political and violent attacks of he Arab enemies in the Middle East together with their backing of many Islamic nations as well as their supporters all over the world led by the UN and the President of the United States, Bill Clinton.

Using the false and evil Oslo so-called “Peace” agreements, they cut off piece after piece from the body of the land of Israel and give them to the foreign “Palestinian Authority” which grows like a cancer in the midst of the body of the Holy Land of Israel. These agreements were signed by the weak and secular government of Israel under the pressure of the above powers. Now these powers are putting pressure on Israel to give away more parts of the land and the main pressure is now on Jerusalem,  the capital of the G–d and people of Israel.

The former terrorist and murderer, Yasser Arafat, has stated that there will never be peace and that he will renew the Intifada, the battle against Israel, unless Israel agrees to give him Jerusalem as the capital of a “Palestinian” state and give up her sovereignty over Jerusalem. More than this, he is demanding all the area of Judea, Samaria and Gaza to be immediately given to him and that he will declare a “Palestinian” state in those areas with Jerusalem as its capital which he knows that the UN and all the nations will recognise.

The agents of Arafat on the Temple Mount are now in the midst of an intensive, violent campaign to destroy and remove all the remains of the First and Second Temples and to change the identity of the Temple Mount into an Islamic site. They realise that, whether they want it or not, the Third Temple is going to be built on the Temple Mount as a major event in G–d’s end-time prophetic plans. By this barbaric violence against the G–d and people of Israel they try to prevent this even through such a terrible revolt and violence against G–d and His holy house.

In a speech which Arafat gave in Ramallah (the Biblical city of the Hill of G–d, Givat Elohim, and was a Jewish city settled by Jews but occupied by the Arabs in 630 CE) he stated that he is ready for a war and that he is not afraid of the Israeli tanks and aircraft. The same threats of war are coming closer and closer to Israel from the north from the Hisb’allah terrorist organisation in Lebanon which has stated that their battle will not stop until they have occupied Jerusalem. The same spirit of war is coming form Syria, Iraq, Iran and Egypt, all these enemies of Israel who are preparing their weapons including nuclear, biological and chemical warheads and who are preparing their forces to destroy Israel. The UN and the European Union have stated on more than one occasion and made resolutions that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel but occupied territory and that Israel should withdraw from Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan Heights.

All of this brings Israelis to the conclusion that the time is very critical and that the prophecies of the prophet Ezekiel about the War of Gog and Magog against Israel and Zechariah’s and other prophets’ prophecies about the war of all the nations against the land of Israel and Jerusalem are soon to be fulfilled. Never since the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948 has Israel felt that the black clouds of this terrible war were so close to Jerusalem. This war will not be a simple war and Israel will pay a high price because of the sinful weakness over her leadership.  Zechariah states that half of the population of Jerusalem will go into exile. However, the Israelis, after great disappointment in the behaviour of their leadership, are coming closer to the G–d of Israel and understanding that they can only trust in their One Father, the G–d of Israel, Who saved has repeatedly saved them over the last 4000 years and Who will save them  again now from all those powers and nations who will attack them and that He will severely judge all their enemies as He promised in His Word. “Son of man, set your face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; … After many days you shall be called upon; in the latter years you shall come against the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered from many peoples, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste; but it is brought out from the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. You shall ascend and come like a storm, you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you, and all your bands, and many people with you. … And you shall come up against my people of Israel, like a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when I shall be sanctified in you, O Gog, before their eyes. … And it shall come to pass on that day, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, says the Lord God, that my fury shall be roused. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; … And I will contend with him by pestilence and by blood; and I will rain down upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, a torrential rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will make myself known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord. … You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you, and all your bands, and the peoples that are with you; I will give you to the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. … And I will send a fire on Magog, and among those who dwell securely in the islands; and they shall know that I am the Lord. And I will make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them profane my holy name any more; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.” (Ezekiel 38:2,3,8,9,16,18,19,22,23; 39:4,6,7)

“For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women raped; and half of the city shall go into exile, and the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. …  Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of reeling to all the people around, and it shall also be against Judah in the siege against Jerusalem. And on that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all the peoples; all who burden themselves with it shall be grievously hurt. And all the peoples of the earth shall be gathered together against it. … And the Lord shall be king over all the earth; on that day the Lord shall be one, and his name one. All the land shall be changed like the Arabah from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; and she shall be lifted up, and remain in her place, from the Gate of Benjamin to the place of the first gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananeel to the king’s wine presses. … And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall dwell secure.” (Zechariah 14:2,3;12:2,3,6,9; 14:9,11)

The prophet Zechariah states that the weapons (the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons) used against Israel will backfire and will hurt the enemies of Israel and not Israel: “And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their sockets, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass on that day, that a great panic from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold everyone on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.” (Zechariah 14:12,13)

We know that the coming time will not be an easy time in Israel. This will be the climax of all the end-time troubles which Israel through which Israel is now passing. Israel must trust in G–d and be strong and, together with the G–d of Israel, we will overcome these terrible events. The G–d of Israel is determined to accomplish the redemption of Israel and all the universe and nothing can or will prevent Him.

The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement and all the others in Israel who are with the G–d of Israel and who are in His army to serve and fight with all their devotion and dedication for Him and His end-time plans are ready to face these events and their challenges as they have been up to this time. We do not fear the enemies of the G–d and people of Israel but only G–d and we trust and love Him and we shall continue to serve Him and His prophetic plans with all the strength which He gave us.

We warn all the enemies of Israel and their allies all over the world that G–d will severely judge and punish them because of their violence and there battles to destroy Israel.

To all the wonderful friends of Israel all over the world who decided to be with the G–d and people of Israel at this great and critical time we send our sincerest thanks and love and the deep appreciation of the G–d and people of Israel. Exactly as the prophets prophesied, you will be redeemed together with the people of Israel whom you love  and support with such devotion. It is so good to know that, together with the G–d of Israel, we have righteous friends and brothers and sisters like you who have placed themselves together with Israel at a time when it is so needed. You are an important sign, example and a great hope for this prophetic, godly time in which we are now living. Continue to be strong with the G–d and people of Israel and the G–d of Israel and the Universe will continue to bless you richly.

The Temple Mount Faithful

The Destruction of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

From the Web Site of Zachi Zweig at www.har-habayt.org
Visit this Site for important information

From the Web Site of Zachi Zweig at  www.har-habayt.org

Reports about Palestinian construction of new Mosques on the Temple Mount have been constantly surfacing over the last few months.  Truckloads of soil have been removed without any regard whatsoever for any archeological relic treasures in this richest of archeological sites in the world.

Latest development – Opportunity for concerned people to participate with positive reaction

27 September 2004

This Web Site has featured the above photos since 2000.  Zachi Zweig, the producer, is one of the pioneers for bringing this untenable situation to the attention of Jews and Israeli authorities.  He has now obtained the appropriate licenses for executing the project for sifting the Temple Mount dumps. This project urgently needs funding support since it has to begin before the winter. There are also other ways in which you can assist.

The Israeli government, Israel’s official archeology authorities  and the media have smothered or played down this flagrant disregard of the Palestinians for the tons of Biblical evidence that lie buried in this,  to the Creator God, the Most Holiest Site in all the world.  This is the Place where 2 Jewish Temples were built to His Glory and according to His Divine Directives.  This is the exact Place where the New Jerusalem, Center of His Coming World Kingdom Rule, will be erected, after the kingdoms of the nations will have disintegrated in Chaos at the time of the War of Armageddon (‘Gog & Magog’, according to Scriptural Prophecy).

The reports of this destruction, mainly by religious ‘rightist’ Jews, ‘guardians of the Walls of Jerusalem’, have been disputed by the leftist secular authorities and these witnesses were labeled a ‘risk to State Security’.  Contra reports were made of ‘exaggeration’ by these witnesses and the public was assured that there was no such damage being done.  In the mean time, investigations by the press and media were officially barred and authorities were withheld from doing proper investigation.

The matter has now however become a main topic in Israel and true evidence points to exactly such desecration and destruction.  It is eerily strange and unbelievable why Mr. Barak, the previous Prime Minister of Israel,  seemed to have willfully supported this destruction by allowing it to continue without official interjection.  The present government under Mr Ariel Sharon is doing no better.

Following are reports that you may not easily find in the normal news media which are adding their support to the destruction by covering it up.  It is not hard to envisage the condemnation if Israel were to have been guilty of such disregard in conduct.

Is it simply because these ruling authorities and the media have no longer any place whatsoever for anything to do with a Biblical tie-up – and their endeavouring to route out the last symptoms of these ‘misguided tendencies’ in modern mankind?

22 June 2000

 Eyewitness Report by THE TEMPLE INSTITUTE, Jerusalem

For eight months, we have reported on the Moslem Waqf’s illegal excavations in the southern part of the Temple Mount. It has been established that these unsupervised excavations have facilitated the deliberate and calculated destruction of archaeological remnants from the Holy Temple. Now, the desecration and destruction has moved into a new phase. Recently, new reports have begun to circulate that the Wakf has renewed its illegal construction activities on the Temple Mount. A number of articles on the subject have appeared in the Israeli press over the past few days. In one of these articles, appearing in the Hebrew daily Ha’aretz, correspondent Nadav Shragai wrote: “The Islamic Movement in Israel has a master plan to build a forth mosque on the eastern side of the Temple Mount, according to a detailed report prepared by security officials.”

We were recently able to ascend to the Temple Mount to view this construction activity firsthand. What we saw there was so staggering that it is difficult to convey the images in words. Under the open skies, and with no pretenses, the entire eastern section of the Mount has been turned into a busy construction site. Activity is taking place at a fever pitch. Not one inch of the eastern section of the mount remains untouched. Haphazard heaps of archeological remnants of major significance, freshly unearthed, are strewn about everywhere. Next to these sit large consignments of newly hewn masonry stones, still wrapped in neat plastic packaging, just delivered to the site. A structure near the Golden Gate is already at an advanced stage of construction. Tractors are at work and other heavy machinery can be heard; there is activity of paving and other aspects of ground preparation, digging, masonry and more. It should be noted that this construction is taking place in areas that are clearly within the boundaries wherein chambers of the Holy Temple stood. Thus the actual site of the Holy Temple is now being turned into a Moslem site, all over again.

In the southern end of the Mount, new ornamental skylights have been fixed over the area of the new underground mosque now in use. Many other permanent changes in the area can also be plainly seen.

The plans of the Waqf and the Islamic movement also include a number of other changes. However these plans have not been published and are not publicly acknowledged. A petition has been made to the Jerusalem District Court by Yehuda Etzion of the Chai V’kayam movement, demanding that the Waqf reveal their plans for the site based on the Freedom of Information Act. However the state has refused to divulge this information on the grounds that it is “secret,” and the court has yet to hear this petition. Similarly, several months ago the commander for the Jerusalem District of the Israel Police revealed to the Knesset Education Committee that the Waqf has six plans for the Temple Mount – but he refused to elaborate, citing state security. Meanwhile, the Israel Antiquities Authority as well as the Committee for Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount, have called upon both the Attorney General and the Prime Minister to personally intervene and put a stop to the illegal activity.

What we were able to see on our own visit substantiated, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what we have always known: Motta Gur’s immortal declaration “The Temple Mount is in Our Hands,” uttered in June 1967, is a fantasy that has no basis in reality. It is an unhealthy dream from which the people of Israel must wake up. It has been completely shattered; even the most skillful ostrich can no longer delude himself. Israel exercises no sovereignty whatsoever on the Temple Mount. On the very day of our own visit, a group of Knesset Members on a fact-finding mission to the Mount were prevented by the Israel Police from carrying out their task – and the police, in turn, while entrusted with carrying out the law of the State of Israel, were simply manipulated by the Waqf, the real power and control on the Temple Mount. Thus the Knesset members, who are the lawmakers of our nation and who are entitled to Parliamentary immunity and extra-legal status, were prevented from photographing the illegal construction; they were prevented from moving about freely on the Mount, and were not able to enter the underground structures. The group’s guide, archeology student Zachi Zweig (www.miac.com/bait), was physically attacked and threatened by the commander of the police.

However, the worst is yet to come. The Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount has pointed out that if the Waqf implements all its plans, the face of the Mount will be completely altered, aside from the damage that will be caused to the antiquities at the site.

All the deliberate destruction of archeological remains, and the dumping and trashing of hundred of tons of precious Temple remnants that we have focused upon until now, is ancient history – for the Waqf has now moved on from the destruction of Temple remains, to the complete and permanent alteration of the Temple site.

The matter is clear. The Waqf saw that they were able to destroy archeological remains that are precious to the people of Israel with impunity. They were not stopped. Now they are confident that in the face of Israel’s weakness, they can truly do anything. Thus they are rapidly attempting to change the physical reality of the Mount, in a permanent fashion. By creating new facts on the ground, the Waqf is successfully de-Judaizing Jerusalem, and wresting the city from the people of Israel.

We call upon all people, wherever you may be, to appeal to the Prime Minister of Israel to exercise Israeli law on the Temple Mount and put an end to this destruction. He has the power to change Israel’s power concerning the Mount. We also call upon you to communicate with your elected representatives, and ask them to condemn the outrageous actions of the Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority, who receive funding and use those funds to destroy precious archeological artifacts.  Building a new mosque over the area of Israel’s ancient Temple is a contemptible sacrilegious act which reveals the true intentions of the Palestinians towards Israel – as reflected in the official Palestinian Charter, which remains unchanged and still calls for the annihilation of Israel. Israel has zealously protected the shrines of other religions, including Moslem sites. Yet Islam is destroying the holiest shrine of Judaism, and the Government of Israel, whose only interest is the quick implementation of the American “peace process,” is impotent.

The continued destruction at the site of the Holy Temple will result in an irreparable loss for the entire world. We urge you to act immediately.

Rabbi Chaim Richman
THE TEMPLE INSTITUTE  temple@temple.org.il

June 29, 2000


Associated Press reported today:

JERUSALEM (AP) – Prime Minister Ehud Barak gave Palestinian religious authorities the go-ahead Wednesday to keep expanding prayer space on the Temple Mount, prompting protests from politicians and archaeologists.

Also Wednesday, Palestinians clashed with a small group of hard-line Jews protesting digging on the mount. Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said five Palestinians were detained.

The Wakf – the Islamic religious council that administers the Temple Mount, which is holy to Jews and Muslims – recently launched the work at the site, saying it can barely accommodate the thousands who arrive for Friday prayers.

Work may continue at the site known as the Temple Mount to Jews and Christians and the Haram as-Sharif to Muslims, Barak’s office said in a statement. The statement said measures are in place for “maintaining the status quo and not damaging archeological artifacts.”

The Temple Mount, site of the First and Second Jewish temples, abuts the Western Wall – the only remainder of the Roman sacking of the Second Temple in 70 A.D., and Judaism’s holiest site.

Two mosques in a 13th century Muslim sanctuary atop the Temple Mount make it the third holiest site in Islam. The site has remained under Muslim control even after Israel captured the walled Old City in the 1967 Mideast War.

Barak’s decision prompted outrage from politicians and archaeologists, who say the expansion is destroying rare Jewish and Islamic relics at the site.

“Barak gave a green light to an explosive situation,” said Eilat Mazar,  an archeology professor at Hebrew University.

When news of the construction work first emerged earlier this year,  archeologists identified rare and ancient shards in a dump outside Jerusalem where workers left debris.

Wakf officials have said that Israeli protests are a political attempt to undermine the Muslim claim to the site.

Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert, a leader of the hard-line opposition Likud party, said he was concerned that important historical artifacts could be lost forever.

Olmert said the Wakf was promoting a political agenda to wipe Jewish traces from the area so that Israel can no longer claim it has ties.

He described Barak’s decision as a “big mistake.”  (Ed. 2006 – Today, Olmert is PM and leader of the leftist party Kadima, and follows exactly the weak-kneed policy of Barak and other leftist leaders.)

Danny Yatom, a senior Barak adviser, said the presence of archaeologists would guarantee the preservation of antiquities. “The decision is excellent,” Yatom said.

Tensions over the rival religious claims sparked bloody riots in 1929 and 1990.

Jerusalem Post: 13 July 2001

Open the Mount to scrutiny
An overview of the Crisis

(July 13) – Under the premiership of Ehud Barak, (current Internal Security Minister Uzi) Landau was one of  the loudest voices protesting against the government’s disregard for the wanton and unsupervised destruction of antiquities on the Temple Mount by the Wakf, which was engaged in seemingly endless construction projects there. It is particularly disturbing to see his 180-degree turnabout on the issue of protecting antiquities on the Temple Mount.  Landau probably did not imagine that within months he would be the minister of internal security, and therefore would have a pivotal role in ensuring that such destruction did not continue.

The fact that Landau’s role is so pivotal is one of the problems he was meant to solve. Since last September, the Israel Police and the Wakf have together blocked all non-Muslims from entering the Temple Mount. This prohibition includes archeologists from the Antiquities Authority and all journalists – except those hand-picked by the Wakf. The police, therefore, are the only thin reed by which the outside world knows anything about whatever construction is taking place on the Mount.

This week, the Committee to Prevent the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount, a non-partisan group of archeologists, authors, and public figures, released photographs of heavy equipment working in this sensitive area, and a large saw used to cut massive ancient stones for reuse in construction projects. The committee has repeatedly charged that the police have misinformed the public and its minister as to the extent of the work going on, and has demanded that the area be open to the press and subject to archeological supervision. The committee further claims that, contrary to an assurance by Landau this week in the Knesset, the saw is still being used, large amounts of construction materials have been brought in, and hundreds of volunteers from the Islamic movement have been working on construction projects on the Mount.

Today, for only the second time since the formation of the (new) government, and only after significant attention by the press and the Knesset, Landau will be meeting with the committee to review the evidence it has collected. So far, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the heads of the Antiquities Authority, the police, and Education Minister Limor Livnat (who has jurisdiction over the Antiquities Authority) have all refused to meet with the committee.

The behavior of the government in this instance is as inexplicable as it is inexcusable. Sharon, Landau, and  Livnat were all at the forefront of demanding that the Barak government not allow one of the most sensitive  archeological sites in the world – certainly to the Jewish people – to be exempt from the supervision to which  almost any road or construction project is routinely subjected, as required by law. The police are not in  position, nor do they have the expertise, to do this themselves. Furthermore, the police have, by consistently  minimizing what the Wakf has done, demonstrated that they have a clear conflict of interests – it is simplest  for them to let the Wakf go about its business.

It is absurd, even pathetic, that Israel and the world must rely upon smuggled and aerial photographs to get some sense of what is happening in the heart of Jerusalem, at a site of unmatched historical and religious significance to the Jewish people. The first, most urgent way to shed some light on the situation is to lift the ban on press access to the Temple Mount.

Perhaps security considerations can justify preventing tourists and the non-Muslim public from visiting the Temple Mount, though this, too, should not be considered a normal and acceptable situation. But even if such a general prohibition makes sense, it cannot justify the imposition of a journalistic blackout on the area. In other areas, such as parts of the Gaza Strip, that have been closed to Israelis for security reasons, an exception has been made for journalists.

The introduction of journalists into the Temple Mount should not be considered a sufficient form of supervision of the area. The committee correctly demands that all construction and destruction on the Temple Mount
be subject to a detailed, transparent approval process, and close supervision by the Antiquities Authority.

The Temple Mount has a rich history stretching over thousands of years, and bears the imprint of Jewish, Islamic, and Christian civilizations. If any other country had entrusted the Temple Mount to Islamic authorities – which deny any non-Muslim connection to the area and have a record of destroying non-Muslim artifacts in keeping with their extremist ideology – Israel and the Jewish people would be up in arms. If, in addition, this other country had prevented a modicum of supervision by archeologists and the press, Israel would be screaming bloody murder.


With Jerusalem and the Temple Mount now “on the table” in the Peace negotiations,  it is interesting to hear the views of a leftist leader, who has in the past been instrumental to get the Peace Talks and the gradual surrender of Israel territory to the Palestinians, going.  Mr Peres is highly critical of Israeli Prime Minister Barak’s handling of the Camp David negotiations and sees very little hope of permanent Peace.

The Israeli daily, Ha’aretz reports as follows on 24 Aug. 2000:  “In private conversations Shimon Peres fears deeply for the fate of the peace process with the Palestinians, and is scathingly critical of Barak.

“The Camp David focus on the issue of sovereignty over the Temple Mount was a recipe for an impasse, Peres believes.  Compromises are possible in politics, he says, but logic stops where matters of religion begin.  Now, with the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount on the table, it will be far more difficult, perhaps impossible, to reach a partial agreement, or to defer the resolution of the Jerusalem question.

“Substantively, Peres believes the Palestinians should not be given sovereignty over the Temple Mount.  Barak was also wrong to agree to debating the division of the Old City between Israelis and Palestinians, as suggested by President Bill Clinton.

August 2000


Israel’s High Rabbinate considered a proposal to build a synagogue on the Temple Mount.  Debate over the proposal is believed to have been shelved due to behind-the-scenes pressure from the Israeli government, who is mindful of the likelihood of angry reactions by Palestinian Muslims.

Protesting Arab newspapers expressed Arab fears that “the Israeli government seems to begin reconsidering its policy on that matter.   A manifestation of that change of policy.occurred at Camp David when Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak reportedly proposed … that in the context of a final settlement for the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel should control the area “underneath” the two mosques on the Temple Mount.”

“This is a criminal proposal — a direct invitation to war,” said Jerusalem’s mufti, Ikrema Sabri {Arafat’s appointee)  in reaction to the proposal, adding that “these criminal intentions could set the entire region on fire because Muslims are not going to sit idle while their holy places are taken away from them.”

Hamas, founder and leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, warned that “the destruction of Al-Aqsa mosque would be followed by the destruction of Israel. …”

What really was said at Camp David over Jerusalem’s Holy Places

Source:  Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
1815 H Street, NW Suite 404 Washington, DC  20006
Phone: (202) 955-9070
Fax: (202) 955-9077
E-mail: MEMRI@erols.com
Website: www.memri.org

The Jerusalem issue was at the core of the Camp David Summit negotiations.  The Palestinians regard East Jerusalem as a part of the occupied territories falling under UN Security Council Resolution 242, and therefore demand full Israeli withdrawal to the June 4, 1967 lines.  For Israel, East Jerusalem is an indivisible part of its territory after being annexed by Israel in 1967.

However, it is the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem that place the question of Jerusalem in the center of the negotiations.  On July 23, the United States submitted a proposal – based on an Israeli proposal – to grant the Palestinians full sovereignty in the Muslim and Christian quarters [including Christian holy sites] while leaving the Jewish and Armenian quarters under Israeli sovereignty.

In response to this proposal, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasser Arafat told US President Clinton, “I will not agree to any Israeli sovereign presence in Jerusalem, neither in the Armenian quarter, nor in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, neither on the Via Dolarosa, nor in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  They can occupy us by force, because we are weaker now, but in two years, ten years, or one hundred years, there will be someone who will liberate Jerusalem [from them].” (1)

Palestinians Claim Holy Sites

Palestinian claims to sovereignty over Temple Mount are based primarily on its holiness in Islam.  They stated repeatedly that the Muslim holy places have the status of an Islamic Waqf [religious endowment].

Arafat stated again and again that he represents all Muslims, reminding President Clinton that he serves as the permanent deputy chairman of the ‘Islamic Conference’ organization, (2) and that: “The Arab leader who would give up Jerusalem has not yet been born.” (3)(I)

Regarding himself as the heir to the legacy of the Muslim conqueror of Jerusalem (in 638), Caliph Omar Ibn Al-Khattab who protected Jerusalem’s Christians, Arafat also demanded recognition as the defender and custodian of Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.  “Arafat told us,” said PA negotiator Saib Ereiqat, “that the Christian quarter is more important to him than the Muslim quarter because of his wish to uphold the terms of the ‘Omar Pact’ [regarding the status of non-Muslim monotheist religions according to Muslim tradition].” (4)

Israeli Claims and the Palestinian Reactions

Israel too presented its demand for sovereignty over the Temple Mount on the basis of its holiness in Judaism, as the site of the first and second temples.  On this basis, it raised – for the first time – a demand for a Jewish prayer site on the edge of the mountain.
(I) The secretary-general of the Arab League, Dr. ‘Ismat Abd Al-Maguid, also, stated that “no Arab leader is allowed to relinquish Jerusalem.”  Saut Al-Haqq Wa Al-Hurriyya, August 18, 2000.

The Palestinians rejected both demands, regarding them as an attempt to foil any chance for an agreement.  The Islamic Waqf [Islamic endowments] Council in Jerusalem explained this position:  “The Al-Aqsa Mosque belongs to the Muslims alone, according to a divine decision, and is part of the Muslim faith.  Prayer in it by non-Muslims is forbidden by [religious] law.  Any attempt to harm its holiness or the site itself, or to desecrate it would injure Muslims all over the world.” (5) (II)

The PA Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Sheikh ‘Ikrima Sabri explained that the buildings surrounding the Al-Aqsa mosque are also holy and therefore establishing a synagogue there would be impossible: “All the buildings surrounding the Al-Aqsa mosque are an Islamic waqf.  These buildings have direct openings, doors and windows, to the site of the Al-Aqsa mosque, and therefore their status is similar to that of Al-Aqsa in terms of blessing and holiness.  Therefore, according to Islamic law, it is impossible to plunder any of these buildings and turn it into a synagogue for the Jews.” (6)

The Palestinian rejection of Israel’s demands to sovereignty and prayer sites on Temple Mount is based on a complete denial of any Jewish affiliation with Temple Mount.  According to the Palestinians, the “so-called temple” that Israel recalls, has never been there, and there is no evidence to suggest its existence.  This position was voiced by Arafat as well as many high-ranking Palestinians, such as PA Minister of International Planning and Cooperation Nabil Sha’ath (7), Saib Ereiqat, (III) and PA Legislative Council Chairman Abu ‘Alaa.

Arafat told Clinton in this regard: “I am a religious man, and I will not allow it to be written of me [in history] that I. confirmed the existence of the so-called temple underneath the mountain.” (8)

Abu ‘Alaa claimed that the Israeli demand is nothing but a plot: once it is accepted that the temple existed beneath the mosques, and Israel gains sovereignty over the land under the mosques – “It will mean that within a few years they will destroy the mosques.” (9) This was a reference to the September 1996 Western Wall Tunnel riots, in which the Palestinians claimed that the tunnel was dug with the aim of destabilizing the foundations of the mosques, to ultimately destroy them.

Abu ‘Alaa also claimed that “at Camp David the Israelis offered Palestinian sovereignty over the ground and Israeli sovereignty under the ground.  Who would agree to this?  They offered Palestinian sovereignty, and Israeli super-sovereignty.  There is no precedent such a thing.  They also offered Palestinian control under Israeli sovereignty, in a sort of diplomatic representation, similar the status of an embassy that has sovereignty in Israeli land.  Whoever agrees to such offers betrays faith.” (10)

A classified report by the Palestinian leadership on the Camp David summit refers to this Israeli offer: “The Israelis offered to divide the sovereignty .so that the Palestinians would have vertical sovereignty from the sky to the ground, and the Israelis would have sovereignty from the surface to the center of the earth.  What they intended by this offer was the right to dig for the remains of the so-called temple, which [archeological] digs have failed to find for the last seventy years.” (11)

PLO Executive Committee Chairman Abu Mazen too denied the right of the Jews to a prayer site on Temple Mount.  He raised a practical argument: the Palestinian experience with Jews in joint Jewish-Muslim prayer sites.  He stated: “We have learned the lessons of the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem.  The Jews asked to visit them, then it became the basis for [further] demands.  In the Hebron mosques, they asked to pray at the site, and today anyone who visits the Tomb is beaten [by them].  For these reasons, as a matter of principle we will allow neither [Jewish] sovereignty nor prayer in, around, or above the mosques. (12)

(II) Arafat recalled that even Moshe Dayan himself prohibited Jews from praying on the Temple Mount after 1967: ” [So] why do they want to do it now?  The [Israeli] proposals are like mines that will ignite fires in the region and throughout the world.  Beware not to repeat these proposals [because] they are dangerous and destructive.”  Al-Ayyam.  August 6, 2000.

(III) According to the reports, Ereiqat made this denial at a Camp David meeting in the presence of President Clinton, who noted that the Christian Minister at Camp David believes Israel’s version. Ha’aretz (Israel), July 27, 2000.

Akram Haniya, editor of Al-Ayyam and an Arafat advisor who participated in Camp David, criticized the Israeli demands, and furthermore their acceptance
by the US: “The secular [Israeli] negotiators began speaking the language of extremist religious Jews.  Suddenly, the Jewish access to the [Muslim] holy sites and Israeli sovereignty over the mountain became a basic Israeli demand.  But the dangerous thing about it was that the Americans endorsed these demands without hesitation or any thought about the implications.”  (13)

Palestinian claims to the Western Wall

The Palestinians state that the Western Wall is also a holy Islamic site and an Islamic Waqf.  Its holiness derives, according to The Koran and Muslim tradition, from its being the site where the Prophet Muhammad landed in his divine nocturnal journey from Mecca to Jerusalem.  The Western Wall is where he tied his horse called ‘Al-Buraq,’ and it is known in Islam as ‘The Al-Buraq Wall.’

At Camp David, Arafat also based his claim to the site on an “assertion by the British mandatory government in 1929 that the Western Wall is the Wall of Al-Buraq, and that it is regarded as an Islamic Waqf and an historic Islamic right.” (14)

The PA mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Sheikh ‘Ikrima Sabri explained that the Western Wall is part of the Al-Aqsa Wall, and therefore is an Islamic Waqf.  On the other hand, he asserted: “no stone of the Al-Buraq Wall has any relation to Judaism.  The Jews began praying at this wall only in the nineteenth century, when they began to develop [national] aspirations, as Yossi Beilin has said.” (15)

Nevertheless, the Palestinians are ready to acknowledge the right of Jews to pray at the Western Wall out of “respect to Judaism,” but only on the condition that the sovereignty over it will be Palestinian.

PA Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Feisal Al-Husseiny explained that: “The PA is ready to discuss all the arrangements relating to free access, worship and Jews visiting Jerusalem, on the condition that the sovereignty over the city be fully Palestinian.” (16) However, as Abu ‘Alaa asserted: “there is no point in discussing the details of these arrangements, before Israel has recognized Palestinian sovereignty over [East] Jerusalem.” (17)

Abu Mazen recognized the fact that “Jerusalem is holy for all [religions]” and explained that even though the Jews would be granted the right to pray at the wall – the wall will remain an Islamic Waqf:  “All parties have a right to their religious worship on the mountain.  The Jews have the right to visit the Western Wall and pray there, despite the fact that the British Commission asserted in 1929 that the wall is an Islamic Waqf.  Arafat has always said that he will allow them to pray at the site.” (18)

Arafat expressed this idea in an interview with the Japanese news agency NHK during his last visit to Tokyo.  While rejecting Israel’s claim to sovereignty on Temple Mount, he added:  “However, I offered them [the Jews] freedom of prayer at the Western Wall.  They are praying there, and I offered that they would be able to continue with their prayers, because I respect Judaism.”  Arafat reiterated this statement repeatedly during the interview.  In an answer to the interviewer’s question about the holiness of the Wall to the Jews too, he said: “I have offered them free access to pray at the Western Wall .they will have an open corridor to reach the Western Wall.” (19)

PA Mufti Sheikh ‘Ikrima Sabri, dismissed the concern that the prohibitions that kept Jews from reaching the “Al-Buraq Wall” from 1948 and 1967, may be repeated if a Palestinian State is granted sovereignty over the Western Wall.  “Circumstances have changed,” he said, “[now] there is international recognition [of the right to religious worship] – and the Jews are able to reach the Wall.  Arafat can tell them: ‘Give me sovereignty over Jerusalem, and I will make it possible for you to reach the ‘Al-Buraq Wall’ and pray there.  I promise you freedom of worship.’  [However] granting free access to the wall does not mean that the Wall will belong to them.  The Wall is ours.” (20)

Ref. notes:

(1) Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), August 10, 2000.
(2) Al-Ayyam (PA), August 10, 2000.
(3) Al-Quds (Jerusalem), July 20, 2000.
(4) Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, August 8, 2000.
(5) Al-Quds, August 15, 2000.
(6) Saut Al-Haqq Wa Al-Hurriyya (Israeli Arab weekly), August 25, 2000.
(7) Al-Ayyam, July 27, 2000.
(8) Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, August 12, 2000.
(9) Al-Ayyam, July 30, 2000.
(10) Al-Ayyam, August 12, 2000.
(11) Al-Quds, August 18, 2000.
(12) Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, August 19, 2000.
(13) Al-Ayyam, August 3, 2000.
(14) Al-Hayat (London-Beriut), July 27, 2000.
(15) Kul Al-Arab (Israeli Arab weekly),  August 18, 2000.
(16) Al-Ayyam, August 22, 2000.
(17) Al-Ayyam, July 30, 2000 and Al-Quds, July 25, 20000.
(18) Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, August 19, 2000.
(19) Japanese News Agency NHK, August 15, 2000.  Asked by the interviewer
about the possibility of sharing responsibility in the holy sites for all three religions, Arafat reacted decisively:  “Sharing of responsibilities?  No!  .I cannot agree to that.  I am not allowed to accept any [foreign] sovereignty on places holy to Christianity and Islam.”
(20) Kul Al-Arab, August 16, 2000.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent, non-profit organization providing translations of the Arab media and original analysis and research on developments in the Middle East.  Copies of articles and documents cited, as well as background information, are available upon request.

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