Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh says the Israeli regime has dismally failed to prove it is steeped in the history of al-Quds despite the regime’s extensive excavations of sacred sites of the occupied holy city for decades.
“Fifty-five years of excavations and tunnel digging did not prove that there is a temple in the city,” Shtayyeh said as he addressed a conference dubbed “Property Documentation and the Historical Status of the Holy al-Aqsa Mosque” in the central West Bank city of al-Bireh on Wednesday.
He added that events like such a conference will reinforce the Palestinian narrative of al-Quds history, and will thwart the Tel Aviv regime’s systematic distortion of facts and its attempts to disguise the Arab, Muslim and Christian identities of the city.
Shtayyeh called on Arab rulers not to contribute to Israel’s Judaization plans in al-Quds, stressing that helping Palestinian residents of the holy city does not go hand in hand with implementing joint projects with the occupying regime.
He demanded that Arab statesmen prop up the Palestinian resistance front in any possible way.
In recent months, the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement has warned that any Israeli attempt to seize al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied Old City of al-Quds will have “damaging consequences” for Israel.
Hardline Israeli legislators and extremist settlers regularly storm the al-Aqsa Mosque compound – a provocative move that infuriates Palestinians. Such mass settler break-ins almost always take place under the protection and support of Israeli military forces.
The al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Jewish visitation of al-Aqsa is permitted, but according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government in the wake of Israel’s occupation of East al-Quds in 1967, non-Muslim worship at the compound is prohibited.
Back in May last year, frequent acts of violence against Palestinian worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque led to an 11-day war with Palestinian resistance groups in the besieged Gaza Strip, during which the Israeli regime killed at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children.