MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : DISPLACEMENT AND EXPULSION !Palestinians, Jordan accuse Israel of ‘Judaizing’ Western Wall Plaza
The PA Foreign Ministry called on the United Nations Security Council to “halt the crimes of the Israeli occupation forces against al-Aqsa Mosque.”
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH – JANUARY 11, 2021 14:10 JERUSALEM POST
The Palestinians and Jordan have accused Israel of seeking to “Judaize” the Western Wall Plaza because of renovation work that is being carried out there.
Referring to the renovations as “excavations,” the Palestinians and Jordan called for an immediate cessation of the work at the site.
The Jordanian-controlled Wakf Department in east Jerusalem, which oversees Muslim holy sites, said that the “excavations” were “part of the [Israeli] project to complete the Judaization of the al-Buraq Plaza, southwest of the al-Aqsa Mosque.”
The Wakf claimed that the renovations contradicted international humanitarian law and decisions on this matter by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Al-Buraq is the name Muslims use to refer to the Western Wall. They believe it is the site where the prophet Mohammed tied his winged steed, al-Buraq, on his journey to Jerusalem before ascending to paradise.
The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the United Nations Security Council to “halt the crimes of the Israeli occupation forces against al-Aqsa Mosque.”
The ministry condemned Israeli “excavations” at the Western Wall, referring to it as the “western wall of the al-Aqsa Mosque.”
The ministry further accused Israel of working to “Judaize” the entire site, as well as the Aqsa Mosque and the nearby neighborhood of Silwan.
Sheikh Omar Kiswani, director of al-Aqsa Mosque, claimed that Israel was seeking to expand the Western Wall Plaza “so that it could receive the largest number of Jewish settlers who would storm al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Kiswani said that the work was part of an Israeli scheme to turn the Western Wall plaza into an exclusively Jewish area.
Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, chairman of the Supreme Islamic Council and former PA mufti of Jerusalem, denounced the renovations as an “assault on Muslims with the aim of changing the identity of Jerusalem and tampering with Islamic heritage and antiquities.”
Sabri said that what was happening at the Western Wall Plaza was in the context of Israel’s attempt to “create a false Jewish identity.”
“This is an unacceptable change of the reality,” he added. “It contradicts international laws.”
Jordan, meanwhile, called on Israel to immediately stop the “ongoing excavations and abide by its obligations as an occupying power in occupied east Jerusalem, and to stop violating or changing the identity of the Old City.”
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry said it condemns the Israeli “excavations at the al-Buraq Plaza, which is an integral part of al-Aqsa Mosque.”
A spokesman for the ministry reiterated Jordan’s “rejection and denouncement of all unilateral Israeli measures,” saying they were in violation of international law.