The Palestinian Authority and Hamas issued a warning, on Sunday, of Israeli plans to impose sovereignty on al Asqa Mosque in Jerusalem.The PNN reports that Palestinian Minister for Religious Affairs, Mahmoud al-Habbash, told the Jerusalem Post that the only sovereignty over the site would be Palestinian. ‘This is the full right of the Arab, including Muslims and Christians.’ He went on to claim that Israel has plans to divide al Asqa Mosque, which he argues are efforts which won’t succeed.
Another top PA official was quoted by warning Israel against the consequences of ‘desecrating the holy sites in Jerusalem’; Israel is ‘playing with fire’. In the Gaza Strip, Hamas representative Yunis al-Astal accused Israel of plotting to destroy al Aqsa in order to build the so-called ‘Temple Mount’. The Hamas official also criticized al-Habbash for saying that Jews would be permitted to visit the Western Wall after an Israeli withdrawal from east Jerusalem.
The Knesset is set to hold a plenary discussion, on Tuesday, to discuss a proposal by Israeli MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) to place the ‘Temple Mount’ under Israeli supervision.
In regional news, the PNN reports that Israeli occupation forces set a military checkpoint at the main entrance of Beit Eksa village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem, preventing the Palestinian residents from entering into the village.
A Palestine News Network reporter said that the village has been closed by the Israeli forces for over 10 days, adding that the forces stationed at the checkpoint stop the residents’ vehicles, search them and check the passengers’ IDs.