In an interview he gave on Thursday to the Saudi-based Al-Watannewspaper, Abbas said that “the Al-Aqsa Mosque is in danger,” claiming that Israel prevents PA Arabs from praying at the mosque, while allowing “extremist Jews” to worship there. This, he claimed, is proof that Israel has a “malicious” and dangerous plan to destroy the mosque and rebuild the “false” Holy Temple in its place, as he put it.
Arabs continuously make false accusations that Israel is trying “Judaizing” the Temple Mount, sometimes resorting to ridiculous propaganda such as accusing Israel ofusing chemicals to erode the foundations of the mosque in order to cause it to collapse.
A claim similar to Abbas’s was made several months ago by a PA official who also said that Israel was trying to build a new Holy Temple on the Temple Mount.
The official claimed that an analysis of Jerusalem’s development plans finds that there is an intention to Judaize the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and within this framework build the Temple on its ruins and to then reduce the number of Arab residents in the city.
The reality, however, is that it is the Jews – not the Arabs – who are discriminated against when they want to pray on the Temple Mount. The Waqf, which was left in charge of the Temple Mount following Jerusalem’s reunification in 1967, has removed every sign of ancient Jewish presence at the Jewish holy site.