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July 26, 2015 8:25 pm

As Jews Mourn Destruction of Temples, Palestinian Authority Denies They Ever Existed

avatar by David Daoud

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The Palestinian Authority once again denied the Jewish historical and religious connection to the Temple Mount. PHOTO: NRG.

The Palestinian Authority once again denied the Jewish historical and religious connection to the Temple Mount. PHOTO: NRG.

As Jews around the world mourned the destruction of the ancient Jewish temples on Sunday with the observance of Tisha B’Av, Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash told Israel’s NRG that an Israelite temple never stood atop the Temple Mount.

“The Al-Aqsa Mosque is located atop the Temple Mount, and not the Temple. Look for your Holy Temple in another place,” said Al-Habbash.

Al-Habbash also assailed Jewish visitors who visited the holy site on Sunday, saying that “there is no room for religious pluralism” on the Temple Mount.

Al-Habbash added that, “this is a holy site for Islam, and only for Islam. Al-Aqsa Mosque is a Muslim site, and we do not recognize [as legitimate] any of the stories about the Temple.”

In fact, the entire platform, known as the Temple Mount, atop which the Al-Aqsa Mosque now stands was built by Herod the Great and previously housed two Jewish Temples: the First Temple built by Solomon in 957 BCE, and the Second Temple built by the prophet Ezra in 538 BCE and improved by King Herod.

Al-Habbash claimed that the PA’s rejection of Jewish history on the Temple Mount was political and not religious. “We reject the Israeli claim that once there stood a Holy Temple in the place of the Aqsa Mosque,” he said. “If you open up the question of the Temple, you are opening up a religious war, ” he added.

“We do not look at this issue as a religious issue, but only as a political conflict,” he said. “The historical claims are not the issue. The occupation is the problem. We are speaking of a situation where one state has occupied another state.”

He added that the Palestinian Authority “will not allow any Israeli presence in the Holy Mosque. This is taboo for us… Not a single Israeli has the right to pray atop the Aqsa Mosque grounds. This is a mosque and we do not recognize [anyone else’s] rule over this place.”

Al-Habbash’s assertions were by no means novel or unique for the Palestinian Authority. Their long-held position, repeated by numerous officials, has been that Judaism has no historical or religious claim to the Temple Mount and that the history of the Jewish temples is mythical.

 

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