Israel Minister of Housing and Construction Uri Ariel issued a statement on Friday indicating that he is in favour of constructing what he calls the "Third Temple" in place of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.
In a statement reported by the Alray Palestinian Media Agency , Ariel claimed that: "The first Temple was destroyed in 586 BCE, the second Temple in 70 CE, and ever since the Jews have been mourning its loss." He added that: "Al-Aqsa Mosque is currently in place of the temple, despite the temple being much holier than it. Al-Aqsa Mosque is only the third most holy mosque in Islam."
Ariel then asserted that: "Now that Israel has once again become a Jewish sovereign state, there have been occasional calls to rebuild the Temple."
The Israeli authorities have adopted a large-scale media campaign that claims they are making "archaeological discoveries" in Jerusalem, especially around Al-Aqsa Mosque, in an attempt to forge an imaginary Jewish claim to the land today by erasing Jerusalem's Muslim and Christian history. They are also spreading fake tales and myths about the existence of the alleged temple under Al-Aqsa Mosque in order for them to justify their desire to demolish the mosque.