Arabs desecrate Joseph’s Tomb in 2000

Hamas PM Haniyeh has called on Arabs to defend the Al Aksa Mosque. At first glance it seems to be a silly declaration. Israel would never harm the mosque, especially since it sits on holy ground, the Temple Mount. The only thing that could cause him alarm is that our friendly neighborhood terrorist thinks that Israeli Jews will start acting like his cronies. Remember the destruction of Joseph’s Tomb, the attacks on Rachel’s. What about the new mosque you guy built on the Temple Mount? How each time a Jewish artifact was found the Arabs working the site threw it in the trash. We have teams of Archeologists digging through their dumpsite finding treasures.

Well there is good news for Mr. Haniyeh. We are not like you (Baruch Hashem!). We do not destroy the holy sites of others, just as we do not send our children to blow up them selves along with the children of others.

Haniyeh calls on Arabs to defend Al Aksa Mosque

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Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Tuesday called on Israel’s Arabs to unite on the Temple Mount and defend the Al Aksa Mosque.

The call came following the beginning of renovation work by Israel at the centuries-old walkway near the Temple Mount, the holy site disputed by Muslims and Jews.

The head of the Israel Antiquities Authority told Israel Radio however that the controversy was a consequence of “misinformation,” saying that the renovations were not actually at the Temple Mount site and the construction workers were “staying as far away as possible from it.”

Jerusalem District chief Cmdr. Ilan Franco told a press conference that Israel had no intention of taking control of the Temple Mount and that that the police were in constant contact with the Wakf regarding the construction work.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said the renovation work would last approximately eight months.

“We have begun the work in preparation for the salvage dig that is supposed to start here in the coming days in the framework of the renovation of the Mughrabi Bridge,” added Yuval Baruch, the Antiquities Authority’s chief archaeologist for the Jerusalem region, in an interview with Israel Radio.

Israeli radio also reported that Fatah warned of a third Intifada if Israel touches the holy mosque.

Police restricted access to the site. Only women and men over 45 years old and holding Israeli identity cards were allowed access to the Temple Mount compound.

Eleven Arab youths prevented from ascending the Temple Mount were arrested after they threw stones at policemen who stopped them from parading down Salah el-Din Street. The incident occurred after the youths said their afternoon prayers by Herod’s Gate. No one was wounded.

Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said police were stationed in alleys throughout the Old City and at the entrances to the Temple Mount “to thwart any attempt to disrupt order.”

In response to the Palestinian opposition to the renovations, MK Nissan Slomianski [National Union-National Religious Party] released a statement saying: “The Temple Mount is not owned by the Arabs or by Islam.”

Officials said Monday that the planned construction of the new bridge, which had already sparked a tempest among senior Israeli archaeologists, had triggered threats of violence from Islamic trust officials over excavations.

The bridge, which is being built under the auspices of the Antiquities Authority, will replace the temporary bridge built on the section of the Western Wall allocated for women’s prayer after the original stone ramp leading up to the Mughrabi Gate was removed, having been deemed unsafe by city engineers.

“Israel, who today is playing with fire when it touches Al-Aksa, knows the consequences of this playing with fire,” Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said in Damascus.

“This is a very dangerous plan,” Wakf director Adnan Husseini said, warning the excavation could lead to violence.

According to decades-old regulations, Israel has overall security control on the Temple Mount, while the Wakf is charged with day-to-day administration there.

By law, Israel is required to carry out a “salvage excavation” before any construction at the site.

The new bridge, which has received a green light from both the city’s planning committee and Rabbi of the Western Wall Shmuel Rabinovitch, is slated to pass above the archaeological garden adjacent to the Western Wall, and will be supported by as many as eight pylons.

The garden, located outside the south-western corner of the Temple Mount, has been deemed one of the most significant archaeological parks in the world.

The planned new bridge has provoked strong criticism among Israeli archaeologists, who say it will inevitably damage antiquities, and should be scrapped.

“The only reason that this new route has been chosen is so that whoever wants to enter the Temple Mount will not approach the Western Wall plaza,” said Hebrew University archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar.

She said there was no need for the bridge – which is now slated to run nearly triple its original planned length – to run through the archaeological garden, instead of via its original path.

Mazar, a leading Temple Mount expert who is also a fellow at Jerusalem’s Shalem Center, said Antiquities Authority’s decision to carry out the work instead of opposing it was “highly questionable.”

“The simplest and most correct plan would simply have been to stay with the same route that existed for decades,” said Prof. Ephraim Stern, the chairman of the Israeli Archaeological Council, whose recommendation was rejected by the authority.

The archaeologists said Wakf officials and extremist Muslim leaders were exploiting the whole issue – and not their debate over the bridge’s exact routing, which would require an excavation in any case – to threaten violence.

The Antiquities Authority referred all queries on the issue to the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Prime Minister’s Office said the matter was being taken care of by professionals, in full coordination [with the government].

The original stone ramp, which was built after the Six Day War, and served as the point of entry for non-Muslim visitors to the Temple Mount, was badly damaged by an earthquake three years ago and by inclement weather.

After being deemed unsafe by city engineers, the ramp was removed and a new bridge was built that has cut the space for women’s prayer at the Western Wall by more than a third.

The new bridge will restore the women’s section to its original size.

Rabinovitch said the bridge’s planned route was “the best option” available.

The haredi rabbi is opposed to Jews entering the Temple Mount, and is happy to distance the entryway to Judaism’s holiest site from the Western Wall plaza.

Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit told officials and experts on Monday that “the continuous digging in that holy area is a big concern to Jordan, its king, people and government,” a government spokesman said.

Spokesman Nasser Judeh told the official Petra news agency that Bakhit urged experts to “follow up the issue and use all diplomatic channels to avoid any threat, which could harm the safety and the identity of Al-Aqsa mosque.”

The King of Jordan weighed in on the controversy

Jordan’s Abdullah condemns dig near Temple Mount

Jordan’s King Abdullah II condemned an Israel Antiquities Authority excavation that began Tuesday near a site holy to Muslims and Jews, warning of potential “negative” consequences for the peace process. Abdullah called the Israeli dig “a threat to the foundations of the al-Aksa mosque,” according to a statement from the royal palace. “These measures will lead to a climate that is not conducive to the success of efforts to put the Palestinian-Israeli peace process back on track,” the king’s statement said. King Abdullah II mentioned Jordan’s 1994 peace treaty with Israel, which recognizes a “special” Jordanian role in the custodianship of shrines in Jerusalem, saying the kingdom will contact unnamed countries on the matter and that it will undertake unspecified measures to “ensure the protection of Islamic shrines in Jerusalem.” He did not elaborate, but appeared to mean that Jordan might ask its longtime ally the United States to intercede. Abdullah said that he instructed his government to contact Israel to “stop its dig and warn it of the negative repercussions of its actions against al-Aksa.”

Come on Folks!! We all know that they are NOT afraid of a collapse of the mount or damage to the Mosque. They are afraid of Israel actually finding something. One of the Arab strategies is to delegitamize Israel by removing any historical tie between the Jewish people and the land. This “protest” by Hamas and the King of Jordan is being made to prevent any artifacts being found from the Temple periods.