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June 5, 2017 10:10 am

Senior Palestinian Authority Official: Western Wall Is Israel’s, But Temple Mount ‘Is Ours’

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The Western Wall and Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. Photo: Paul Arps via Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – Senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official Jibril Rajoub said on Saturday the Western Wall should remain under Israeli control, but that the Temple Mount belongs to the Palestinians.

“We understand that the wall [US President Donald Trump] visited [in May] is sacred to the Jews, and ultimately it has to remain under Jewish sovereignty,” Rajoub told Israel’s Channel 2. “There is no argument over this. Obviously, it’s a holy place for Jews.”

But Rajoub — secretary of the Fatah party’s Central Committee and head of the PA’s soccer association — added, “The Temple Mount is ours, not yours, and I think you should stop talking as if it’s yours. That’s the status quo since 1967, as established by [Israeli general] Moshe Dayan, and we both have to strive for that. If you want to create an explosion just say, ‘It’s ours, it’s ours.’”

Rajoub’s remarks depart from the official Palestinian policy of labeling all of Jerusalem’s Old City as “occupied territory” that will be integrated into a future Palestinian state. Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem slammed Rajoub’s comments on the Western Wall as a “national crime,” namely the “abuse of the Palestinian people and their holy places.” Such statements undermine “the struggle and sacrifices of the Palestinian people,” Qassem added.

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