World Bulletin / News Desk
The Israel Minister of Housing and Construction Uri Ariel on Friday expressed his wish to see the construction of a "Third Temple" in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Al-Quds (East Jerusalem).
According to the Alray Palestinian News Agency, Uri Ariel said "The first Temple was destroyed in 586 BCE, the second Temple in 70 CE, and ever since the Jews have been mourning its loss."
He then went on to say "Al-Aqsa Mosque is currently in place of the temple, despite the temple being much holier than it. Al-Aqsa Mosque is only the third most holy mosque in Islam."
"Now that Israel has once again become a Jewish sovereign state, there have been occasional calls to rebuild the Temple," he added.
Palestinians who have stated their desire to see Israeli occupying forces retreat out of East Jerusalem back to their 1967 borders are suspicious of so called archeological excavations taking place under the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. They believe the works are destabilizing the foundations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and have already reported damage to the building.
In recent months, the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound has been subject to numerous raids by far-right Jewish settlers under the protection of Israeli security forces, who have performed Jewish rituals on the site. On a number of occasions last year, the Israeli authorities banned Muslim congregational Friday prayers at the mosque.
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