Western media outlets have warned against proposals and plans prepared by Israeli politicians in the Knesset to divide Al-Aqsa Mosque. The escalation of incursions by settlers and Jewish groups into the mosque, where Jewish extremists have performed religious rituals, is also condemned as it could spark wide Muslim, Arab and Palestinian reactions.
A statement from Al-Aqsa Foundation for Religious Endowment and Heritage pointed out a number of reports and articles published in international newspapers, including the Washington Post, the Guardian and the Times.
The foundation noted that a recent report on Israel's Channel 10 gave details of the preparations, dynamics and detailed plans for building a temple "on the rubble of Al-Aqsa". It is believed widely that Jewish extremists plan to destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in order to build a temple on the ruins. That is why such extremists desecrate the Noble Sanctuary with increasing frequency, said the foundation. A backlash from the world's Muslims, for whom Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site, cannot be ruled out, the report warns.
Support for dividing the mosque physically and in terms of access times between Muslims and Jews is also being considered as a serious option, even among mainstream Jewish groups and the Israeli government, said Associated Press. "Jewish visits to the politically-sensitive compound are on the rise, and key Israeli lawmakers are lobbying to end a ban on Jewish prayer there," added the AP report quoted by Al-Aqsa Foundation. Around 8,000 Israelis took part in incursions of the mosque in 2013, said AP, compared with 5,700 in 2009.
Politicians Miri Regev, who heads Israel's Interior Affairs Committee, and Moshe Feiglin, Deputy Speaker at the Knesset, were named by the Guardian, which highlighted the two lawmakers' plans for Jewish prayers to be held in the sacred mosque of Al-Aqsa. The Guardian also pointed to the statements made by Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who advocates the building of the temple.
Al-Aqsa Foundation argued that the increasingly frequent appearance of such media reports in the international media indicates that Al-Aqsa is in real danger. It insisted that the role of the Muslim Ummah, the Arab world and the Palestinian people will continue to be central to the defence of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Noble Sanctuary.