The Palestinian Minister of Religious Endowments in Gaza has warned of Israeli threats to Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Ismail Radwan said that this is happening through a deliberate Judaisation policy by the occupation authorities. He stressed that his ministry is taking very seriously the latest threat by the Jewish Home Party to bomb the Dome of the Rock in order to build a temple on its ruins.
Speaking at the Third Conference of the Scholars of Palestine and Egypt, held in Gaza, Radwan said that this threat requires the Arab and Islamic nations to stand against Israel’s threats and actual violations of the sanctity of the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa, which occur on a daily basis. This includes, he pointed out, an attempt to impose a timetable for Jewish prayers in the mosque, which is the third holiest site in Islam. Israel has already succeeded in doing this at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.
Minister Radwan drew attention to the need to keep the Palestinian cause alive in the minds and conscience of the Arab and Islamic nations, and the crucial role of the scholars. “Our people are being deported from their homes,” he said, “they are being prevented from repairing their homes; and their identities are being taken away in the city of Jerusalem; and their displacement is eroding the Islamic character of the city.”
The Israeli occupation authorities are, insisted Radwan, fully responsible for any serious repercussions in the region arising from their actions. “Israel wants to convert the issue into an ideological and religious struggle,” he said, adding that this ignores the simple facts of the occupation. Nevertheless, he stressed the need for unity amongst all Muslim groups to tackle such efforts, regardless of their modus operandi.
The Minister took the opportunity to advise the conference of his ministry’s plans to convene a scientific conference with participation from across the Arab and Muslim world.