After Temple Mount ‘Victory,’ Arabs Set Sights on Western Wall

July 26, 2017

3 min read

Palestinians and Arab MKs declared ‘victory’ Tuesday as Israel reversed security measures at the Temple Mount, and said their struggle for control over the compound also extends to the Western Wall.

MK Taleb Abu Arar (Joint List) stressed that “Jews have no rights at al-Aqsa Mosque,” and added that Muslims’ fight against Israel would continue, regardless of the cabinet decision to remove metal detectors from the entrances to the Temple Mount compound.

“This is a proven fact, [even if] some people are trying to re-write history in order to strengthen their mistaken claim to legitimacy over al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as to the occupied al-Buraq Wall (the Western Wall), which Muslims demand to be returned to our sovereignty.”

Metal detectors outside the entrance to the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. (Israel Police)

MK Masud Ganaim (Joint List) said the decision to remove the metal detectors, placed at the site following the murder of two policemen on July 14, was a “victory for the Palestinian public’s  struggle and the demonstrations.

“It was a victory for the steadfast religious leadership and a victory for the political leadership in Jerusalem,” Ganaim said.

Ganaim’s declaration of victory closely matched views on the street in Palestinian cities in Judea and Samaria. One resident of a refugee camp south of Jerusalem told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that Arabic-language traditional and social media were abuzz with the “triumph” over Israel.

“In general, and as I see in the Palestinian news and social media, Palestinians consider it as a triumph,” said the individual, who spoke to TPS on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals for “collaborating” by speaking to an Israeli media outlet.  “The Israeli government changed its mind about the magnetometers and metal detectors after a huge popular pressure represented by the refusal of using them to get into al-Aqsa.”

Jewish men praying on the Temple Mount during the Muslim boycott. (Twitter @IsraelHatzolah)

“People saw the magnetometers as the beginning of Jewish dominance of al-Aqsa,” said a second source, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

Muslims consider the Western Wall to be the site where Mohammed tied his horse, Buraq, before ascending on his “Night Journey” to the heavens from “the furthest mosque”, which many Muslims identify with the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

However, Islamic scholars trace the connection to Jerusalem to a politically-motivated Islamic sect which controlled the Islamic world about 50 years after Mohammed’s death. Wanting to offer an alternative location for Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage, after a rebellion in Mecca, the sect “moved” the original mosque referred to in the Koran, which was located between Mecca and Ta’if in the Arabian peninsula, to Jerusalem.

“They invented thousands of stories about the sanctity of Jerusalem, including the Night Journey of Mohammed, which is mentioned in the Koran, as if it was to Jerusalem, in order to show that Jerusalem is more holy than Mecca,” said Dr. Mordechai Kedar, professor of Islamic studies at Bar Ilan University, calling the Muslim claim to Jerusalem centuries-old “fake news.”

In fact, until recent history, he added, most Muslims did not view Jerusalem as particularly important to Islam. He referred to Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammed Amin al-Husseini in the early 20th century, who published a guide to the Temple Mount stating plainly that the site was the location of Solomon’s Temple.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar on Origins of Islam’s Jerusalem Myth

With additional reporting by Breaking Israel News staff

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