The grand mufti of Jerusalem declared on Sunday that the Jewish Temples never sat atop the Temple Mount and that the holy site has been the location of a mosque “since the creation of the world.”
Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, the Muslim cleric in charge of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, told Israel’s Channel 2 in an Arabic interview that the Temple Mount was really a mosque “3,000 years ago, and 30,000 years ago,” dating all the way back to the beginning of the world.
“This is the Al-Aqsa Mosque that Adam, peace be upon him, or during his time, the angels built,” Hussein explained, speaking of the 8th century mosque built by Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan.
Appointed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in 2006, Hussein has openly endorsed suicide bombings against Israel and is known for ignoring both textual and archaeological evidence, from Muslim and non-Muslim sources, proving Jewish connections to the holy site.
The mufti’s denial of any religious and historic Jewish connections to the Temple Mount are the latest in a string of Palestinian incitement against Israel. Palestinian officials have claimed Israel is attempting to change the status quo on the Temple Mount, in which non-Muslim prayer is banned.
Over the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed Israel’s commitment to the status quo. On Saturday, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Israel and Jordan have agreed on new Temple Mount security measures, including 24-hour surveillance cameras.