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February 26, 2014 2:39 pm
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Palestinian Authority Ambassador: Israel Must be Prevented From Building Temple

avatar by Gidon Ben-Zvi

A view of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Photo: Berthold Werner.

The Palestinian Authority’s ambassador in Cairo called on the international community to prevent Israel from establishing a “temple” on the Temple Mount, Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported on Wednesday.

Barakat Al-Farra, who is also the PA’s permanent representative to the Arab League, said, “Israel is acting in violation of international laws by preventing Muslim worshipers from praying, proving that it does not want peace.”

His comments follow a debate  held at Israel’s Knesset on Tuesday about Jewish sovereignty over the Temple Mount which was initiated by MK Moshe Feiglin. The parliamentarian is pushing for an official Knesset declaration that “…calls on the [Israeli] government to exercise sovereignty over the Temple Mount, to end the discriminatory practices taking place there, and allow everyone access, regardless of one’s religion, race, gender and nationality – in accordance with the basic laws.”

The Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site, but Jews have been prevented from visiting there due to religious and political pressure from the Muslim Waqf which now controls the site.

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The Arab League is expected to convene an emergency meeting to address the Temple Mount issue, Ma’ariv said.

The fate of the Temple Mount has generated heated debate around the region. Besides the Arab League’s emergency gathering, the Knesset debate prompted several Jordanian parliament members to ask their government to rescind the 1994 peace treaty it signed with Israel, Ma’ariv reported.

Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist Jordanian MPs said the debate in the Knesset proves Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel is a failure. Several members of Jordan’s opposition said, “Guardianship of the Temple Mount is a Jordanian national interest and sacred religious duty.”

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