SHAFAQNA – Amid increasing threats to Islamic heritage in Al-Quds (occupied Jerusalem), a leading Palestinians foundation has warned of Israeli efforts to turn a historical Islamic school in Al-Aqsa compound into a Jewish synagogue.
“What should we understand of Israel’s frequent proposals and bids turning part of al-Aqsa Mosque into a Jewish synagogue after it was misappropriated by the Israeli occupation and transformed into a military site and, at times, a synagogue?,” al-Khatib was quoted by the Hamas-affiliated Palestinian Information Center, Wafa news agency reported on Wednesday, April 8.
The wakeup calls were issued by Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage which warned against Israeli illegal activities in the Muslims’ third most sacred mosque of Al-Aqsa.
The Israeli efforts were led by so-called Temple Mount groups groups to officially turn the historical Tankaziya School, located within al-Aqsa Mosque compound, into a Jewish synagogue.
The efforts came to light after lawyer Aviad Visoly, head of the Temple Mount Coalition, sent an urgent letter to the Jerusalem District Police, pushing for allowing them to enter the Tankaziya School, claiming it is a synagogue and a holy site for Jews.
Israeli media said Visoly threatened to sue the Israeli police in case his demand, based on the alleged Protection of Holy Places Law, is not met within 24 hours.
The Israeli threats to Al-Aqsa mosque are not the first.
In recent years, the Israeli government, in coordination with powerful settler groups, began digging an extensive tunnel network throughout the Old City.
Israel describes the tunnels as “tourist projects” that pose no threat to Islamic holy places.
However, Palestinians and some Israeli organizations, including the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition, believe that the ultimate goal is to create a subterranean access route to attack Al-Aqsa and other Islamic shrines in the area.
A section of the Aqsa Mosque’s yard caved in last year as a result of Israeli excavations underneath.
The collapse happened near the Qaitbay fountain in the western section of the mosque.
The one-meter deep hole was viewed as an ominous harbinger for things to come.
A school in Silwan neighborhood also partially collapsed due to Israeli excavations in the area.
Al-Aqsa is the Muslims’ first Qiblah [direction Muslims take during prayers] and it is the third holiest shrine after Al Ka`bah in Makkah and Prophet Muhammad’s Mosque in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.
Its significance has been reinforced by the incident of Al Isra’a and Al Mi’raj — the night journey from Makkah to Al-Quds and the ascent to the Heavens by Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him).
Israeli religious leaders, including Knesset members, are making no secret of their schemes regarding Al-Aqsa.
The Temple Mount Faithful, an extremist fanatical group, is dedicated to the demolition of Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
The Temple Mount Institute, another extremist Jewish society, had prepared detailed plans for the rebuilding of the alleged Solomon Temple on the rubble of Al-Aqsa.
It has a large prototype of the temple, special clothes for its rabbis, special places for sacrificial offerings, incense chalice, copper vessels for meal offerings, silver vessel for wine libation and other offering implements.