Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Stokes Temple Mount Conspiracy Theories at Islamic Summit
Any hopes that Israel’s leaders might have entertained of a reduction in Palestinian incitement over the Temple Mount were swiftly dashed this week by the Palestinian Authority’s foreign minister, who gave a speech that once again stoked conspiracy theories across the Muslim world about Israel’s ultimate aims for the Jerusalem holy site.
Addressing a meeting of the foreign ministers of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states in Istanbul on Tuesday, Riyad al-Maliki warned that Palestinians were preparing themselves for a new round of “nasty” actions by Israel at the Temple Mount — revered by Jews as the location of the First and Second Temples, and considered by Muslims to be Islam’s third-holiest site, as it houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Recent efforts by Israeli authorities to install metal detectors and other security equipment at the Temple Mount — following the July 14 murder of two Israeli policemen at an entrance to the site — were abruptly withdrawn in the face of a wave of Palestinian violence. Al-Maliki described the Israeli move as a “small victory in the long battle for freedom.”
“We know that (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu is not going to accept defeat and he will try again and again with different methods and different means to impose his own status-quo over the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) and al-Quds (Jerusalem),” al-Maliki said. “We have to be prepared for the next round which could come very soon and could be very nasty.”
The meeting’s host, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, called on the OIC nations to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of an independent state of Palestine.
“We should show our support to the Palestinians, who have been living under Israeli occupation for fifty years, millions of them who had to leave their home, not just with our dry words, but with our actions,” he told the OIC meeting.
Echoing al-Maliki’s dark warnings about the Temple Mount, Cavusoglu declared, “We should all be very careful against provocations. No bans or limitations, including the age restrictions to the Temple Mount, can be accepted.”
OIC Secretary General Yousef al-Othaimeen called on OIC nations to provide the “necessary international protection to the Palestinian people and assume their responsibility to end Israeli aggressions and infractions in al-Quds.”