In a speech before the PLO Executive Committee in Ramallah on September 15, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas repeated the old libel that Israel was planning to establish special Jewish prayer zones inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Abbas claimed that Israel was seeking to copy the example of the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, where Jews and Muslims pray in different sections.
Abbas did not say what his lie was based on. He also did not provide any evidence of Israel’s ostensible plot against the Al-Aqsa Mosque. He said, nevertheless, that the Palestinians, together with Jordan, were planning to bring this issue before the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.
Abbas’s allegation was quickly picked up by several media outlets in the Arab world, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The headlines that appeared on websites affiliated with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the second largest terrorist group in the Gaza Strip, claimed that Israel is planning to permit Jews to pray inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Needless to say, there is no Israeli plan to allow Jews to pray inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque. However, in the past few years Jews, like all other non-Muslims, have been allowed to resume their perfectly legal visits to the Temple Mount. Thousands of Jews have toured the holy site under police protection, despite provocations and violent attacks by Muslims. It is worth noting that any kind of prayer of “religious displays” by Jews or Christians anywhere on the Temple Mount are completely forbidden by the Israel Police.