The Growing Threat to Al-Aqsa

  • 18 June 2013

Israeli threat to Al-Aqsa mosque continues to grow despite the danger this poses not only to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict but also to security and stability of the Middle East. Israeli TV Channel 2 telecast a documentary on Saturday detailing the reconstruction phases of the so-called last remaining structure from the former Temple of Prophet Sulaiman. It contained detailed maps and plans that have been put in place for the purpose and Talmudic rituals and services offered within the mosque.

The documentary has unmasked Israel’s plans vis-à-vis Al-Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem in general. The Israeli government under Benjamin Netanyahu plans to Judaize and transform the geographical and demographic characteristics of Jerusalem. This plan, which has gone on despite international pressure, is aimed at excluding East Jerusalem from the possibility of any possible settlement with the Palestinians. It is meant to impose a fait accompli that would make any attempt to make it capital of a Palestinian state almost impossible.

Instances of Jewish fanatics breaking into the mosque under police watch are also on the rise and so is the issuance of jurisprudence that make it legal for them to make incursions and offer Jewish services inside the mosque. Al-Aqsa mosque is sacred to Palestinians as well as Arabs and Muslims around the world. Hence, any threat to the mosque will be an act of blatant provocation against Arab and Muslim countries. It can also potentially heighten tension and erode any prospect of peaceful negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.

Encroachment on the Al-Aqsa mosque means Israel and its radical groups are playing with fire. It undermines the sanctity of faith and religious places, which should be respected by all so that people of various religions coexist peacefully. Only this can guarantee international peace and stability and avoid a deadly and devastating religious conflict. In the wake of this growing threat, international efforts should be made to put pressure on Israeli government to reconsider its plans to Judaize East Jerusalem. The country must desist from taking advantage of the volatility in the Middle East to carry out its designs.