OCCUPIED AL-QUDS (Dispatches) -- The Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa Mosque Committee of the Palestinian Legislative Council accused the Israeli occupation authorities of constructing fake cemeteries around Al-Aqsa Mosque, Quds Press has reported.
According to the head of the committee MP Ahmad Abu Halabiyeh, this was an attempt to forge “evidence” to “prove” a historic Jewish presence in the Palestinian, Arab and Islamic holy city.
“Recently, the Israeli occupation has built hundreds of tombs to prove that the Jewish existence dates back hundreds of years,” explained Abu Halabiyeh.
Around 300 fake tombs have been built in Jabal Al-Zaytoun, east of Al-Aqsa Mosque, he said, and 200 others in Wadi Al Hilwa in Silwan, south of the mosque, in addition to hundreds more in different areas across occupied Al-Quds, mainly in the Old City.
The MP pointed out that these tombs were built over the past two years. One area, he said, has even been called the “Jewish Cemetery”.
“This is a clear distortion of history, as well as proof that the Israelis are intruders,” added Abu Halabiyeh. Building tombs without human remains inside, he stressed, reinforces settlement projects and serves the occupation’s interests.
Israeli aggression against and within Al-Aqsa Mosque occurs on a daily basis, he said.
On Monday, Jordan has warned that bilateral ties with the occupying regime of Israel will suffer if the incoming ruling coalition tries to change Al-Aqsa Mosque status quo.
The warning, reported by an Israeli public broadcaster, underlined the potential diplomatic pitfalls awaiting Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu who plans to form a cabinet with far-right hardliners.
“Any attempt to change the status quo on the Temple Mount will definitely harm ties between Jordan and Israel,” the broadcaster quoted an unnamed Jordanian source, referring to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
The source took specific aim at Itamar Ben Gvir, head of the extremist Otzma Yehudit party and a crucial partner in the ruling coalition, who has made a point of touring the site during times of increased tensions.
Gvir and others in his party are longtime and well-known advocates of unlawful Jewish prayer rights at Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Jordanian source warned that visits by Gvir and his other “provocations” would be a whole different story if he does so as a minister.
Jordan’s ruling Hashemite family has been the sole custodian of the Muslim and Christian holy sites in East al-Quds, including Al-Aqsa Mosque, since 1924.
Under the mosque status quo, only Muslims are allowed to worship within the compound while non-Muslims may visit the site, but are not allowed to pray there.
Al-Quds-based Islamic Waqf has repeatedly denounced the tours of Israeli settlers to Al-Aqsa Mosque as “provocative”, claiming that Palestinian worshipers and guards at the mosque feel insecure
in the presence of trigger-happy Israeli troops and settlers. Last May, frequent acts of violence against Palestinian worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque led to an 11-day war between Palestinian resistance groups in the besieged Gaza Strip and the occupying regime of Israel, during which the regime killed at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children.
Netanyahu who served as prime minister from 2009 to 2021, has won elections despite standing charges of corruption and political dysfunction. Netanyahu and his right-wing allies are about to form the most extremist regime in the history of Israel.
During Netanyahu’s term as prime minister, ties with Amman hit a low point.
Last year, Jordan refused to give Netanyahu permission to overfly the country for a diplomatic visit in retaliation after Jordan’s crown prince was unable to visit al-Aqsa Mosque.