Al-Aqsa Foundation for Religious Endowments and Heritage has revealed that several Israeli organisations, including the so-called Temple Mount groups, have called on Jews to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque during the Hanukkah Festival (Festival of Lights) which begins on Thursday and lasts for eight days. The foundation said that a senior Knesset official, Miri Regev of the Likud-Neiteinu Coalition, has pledged to enlist police protection for settlers and other Jewish groups when they are in the mosque.
“In addition to calls to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque,” added the foundation, “several Israeli organisations are organising tours and other events in the vicinity of the mosque, especially in the Buraq Wall [the “Wailing Wall”] area.” It cited the example of the Temple Institute which is planning a special exhibition at its headquarters near the Buraq Wall to the west of Al Aqsa Mosque, while Israel’s Chief Rabbi, David Lau, intends to visit the institute on the eve of Hanukkah to light the first candle.
The right-wing settlement Elad group is organising archaeological tours in Al-Sawanah region (the biblical garden) near the eastern wall of Al Aqsa Mosque where it displays supposed artefacts “discovered” in the area which provide information about the temple. The “Tower of David Museum”, which is built atop Al-Qalá (the Castle) Mosque, organises exhibitions and night tours accompanied by music in the museum itself and in different parts of the Old City of Jerusalem. The museum has invited people to increase the number of their visits to Al-Buraq area. The museum also organises tours in the tunnels beneath and around Al-Aqsa Mosque and along the Buraq Wall.