Sheikh Kamal Khatib, deputy chairman of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, on Thursday called for a mass ascent of Muslims to the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount on Sunday, when Jews will mark the 9th of Av, the day in history when both holy temples were destroyed.
Khatib, who back in 2014 promised that Jerusalem will not be only the capital of the Palestinian state, but also the capital of the coming righteous Islamic caliphate, once the entire Earth becomes subordinate to the caliphate, did not actually call for violence come Sunday — a day with no significance on the Muslim calendar. “We are close to the Al Aqsa mosque, so we call on everyone to come to the mosque. To come for prayers, of course, not to harm anyone. It’s our right to be there,” said Khatib, who only three days earlier was detained for interrogation on suspicion of incitement.
“Next Sunday is a day when the Jews mark the memory of the destruction of the Temple. It’s a sad day for the Israeli nation which mourns the destruction of the second Temple,” NRG quoted Khatib’s statement. “We have no connection to that crime, not to the destruction of the first nor the second Temple. So why must we pay for the destruction of the two Temples which were ruined by the Babylonians and the Romans?”
Khatib commented, “Unfortunately, the Jews have turned this day into a day of violence against our holy sites. They declared Sunday as the day on which they would desecrate Al Aqsa mosque. Jewish groups and individuals, rabbis and settler MKs — they’ve all called for going to Al Aqsa mosque.”
Of course, no Jew has even mentioned Al Aqsa mosque. The confusion is the result of the agenda on the part of the Arab community to rename the entire compound, formerly known in Arabic as Haram al Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary, or, really, Holy Temple), as “Al Aqsa Mosque”.
There have been calls by the Temple Mount organizations to increase the number of Jews ascending the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av, and there has been talk of spreading straw mats in the peripheral area where Jews are permitted to set foot where mourners to sit to remember the destruction. However, the Arab claims of Jewish incitement are totally unfounded.
The Arab website Kamakar Press offered its own, distinctly less mild version of the Khatib incitement. In a report titled Extremist Israelis tear their clothes inside the Al Aqsa Mosque, the website repeated the notion that the entire compound is now considered one big Al Aqsa mosque, which is why when the “Extremist Israelis” performed the symbolic tearing of their shirts (one small cut near the collar) on the very outskirts of the compound, this was reported as taking place inside the mosque.
The website also reported that “Over recent days, Muslim worshipers and activists called for intensifying vigil at the Al Aqsa place of worship so as to defend the site against projected Israeli mass-break-ins to mark the so-called Destruction of the Temple Mount anniversary.”