TEL AVIV – Israel is expected to demolish Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque in 2019, 50 years after an arsonist attempted to burn down the Muslim holy site, the Palestinian Authority’s Jerusalem Affairs Minister Adnan Ghaleb al-Husayni baselessly claimed in a recent interview with the Palestinian Information Center.
In a piece of pure anti-Israel propaganda, al-Husayni told the audience that Israel plans to replace the mosque with a Jewish temple. The interview marked 47 years since Australian citizen Denis Michael Rohan set the al-Aqsa Mosque on fire. The minister claimed that the arson destroyed some 25-30 percent of the mosque, particularly in the southeast section, and even harmed some of the dome.
“The arson was not the action of a single madman,” said al-Husayni. “It was a well-planned event by forces both within Israel and without.”
According to him, threats against the mosque remain even 47 years after the arson: “Today, the arson wears additional and different masks. Today, there are the digs around the mosque, there are the tunnels leading into the mosque, and there is everything going on beneath the mosque and even in parts of its backyard.”
Al-Husayni also said that another form of arson being committed against the mosque is “non-Muslim entry, which began at a slow pace in the year 2000, but is increasing and dangerous today as hundreds of them are entering mosques.
“The purpose of these invasions of the mosque and the performing of religious rituals and religious worship is to divide the mosque in the first phase and in the second phase to take it away from the Muslims and (take) complete control over it in preparation for its destruction within three years and the creation of the third temple in its place, announced by radical Zionist groups a few days ago.”
Al-Husayni’s conspiracy theory about Israel planning to demolish the Al-Aqsa Mosque is ironic given that Palestinian arsonists actually attempted to burn down Joseph’s Tomb, Judaism’s third holiest site, on numerous occasions, including earlier this year.
Also, it has been the Palestinians who have been threatening the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which they have used as a staging base to store weapons and attack Israelis. On the Temple Mount, the outlawed radical Islamic Movement has been mobilizing Arab youth in an attempt to smuggle fire bombs, pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, and stones on to the site in order to attack Jews.
The goal seems to be to draw Israeli security forces into the sensitive mosque compound and thus fuel the cycle of rumors regarding Israeli incursions.