Palestinian clerics are spreading an absurd rumor about an Israeli “plot” to destroy the mosque built atop the Temple Mount that could lead to violence and bloodshed.
Following a series of low-magnitude earthquakes felt in northern Israel and in neighboring countries in early July, Palestinian clerics, both Muslim and Christian, have begun to circulate a malicious lie that some elements in Israel are acting to demolish Al-Aqsa and build the Jewish Temple in its place, and warned that Israel may exploit a natural earthquake or cause an artificial one to destroy the mosque.
Israel’s north experienced a series of earthquakes earlier this month, the most severe of which occurred at a 4.7 magnitude.
These allegations come following an article by authored by Jordanian columnist Kamal Zakarneh who wrote that the recent quakes in northern Israel may have been caused by the underground testing of nuclear or other weapons that Israel is developing with the ultimate aim of toppling Al-Aqsa, the Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Israel ‘Preparing Something to Harm Al-Aqsa’
Al-Aqsa Preacher Ikrima Sabri claimed that “the occupation [Israel] is preparing something to harm Al-Aqsa,” according to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Sabri, a former Jerusalem mufti, earlier this month charged that Israel is conducting “unceasing” excavations beneath the Al-Aqsa mosque and their pace has even increased and become more severe.
The truth is that only the Palestinians and Jordanians are conducting construction work on the Temple Mount, in contravention of Israeli law.
“These excavations must not be accepted, for they constitute flagrant aggression against Al-Aqsa and the Waqf… All signs indicate that the occupation is preparing something to harm Al-Aqsa,” Sabri alleged.
“We must beware [and realize that] the occupation may cause an earthquake to destroy Al-Aqsa. The occupation and its government may take advantage of natural and unnatural circumstances to realize the plot to destroy Al-Aqsa. There is a network of tunnels down there that reach deep [beneath] Al-Aqsa,” he added.
Previous Palestinian libels regarding an Israeli plot to harm the Temple Mount have led to the outbreak of violence and bloodshed.
Israel Trying to Cause Earthquake to Topple Al-Aqsa
The deputy head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Kamal Al-Khatib, charged Israel with trying to cause an earthquake to topple the Temple Mount.
“Although [people] speak of destroying the blessed Al-Aqsa in order to build the ‘Temple’ upon its ruins, Israel will never agree to such an insane move. But there are unofficial elements who do their utmost to accelerate the destruction of the mosque and remove [all] signs of Arab and Muslim culture from the city of Jerusalem,” he claimed.
The recent wave of earthquakes “cannot be ruled out that the occupation is responsible for actions that could cause such earthquakes with the aim of destroying Al-Aqsa and [then claiming], as a pretext, that it was the result of a natural disaster,” he further claimed.
The reality is that Israel is situated on the East African Rift, which runs through the Jordan Valley, an area prone to earthquakes. Therefore there has recently been a wave of earthquakes in Israel.
Greek Orthodox Archbishop in Jerusalem Archbishop Atallah Hanna took the Muslims’ side, claiming, “What is happening is part of a dangerous ongoing plot aimed at harming the holy site of Al-Aqsa… The artificial earthquakes that we hear about every day are a prelude to the bigger quake that will hit Al-Aqsa and other historic and religious monuments in the city of Jerusalem.”