Israeli Minister of Housing and Construction, Uri Ariel, of the ‘Jewish Home’ fundamentalist party, a senior member of Israel’s settler-led government, has called for the ‘rebuilding’ of what he calls the ‘Third Temple’, to replace al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Al Ray Palestinian News Agency has reported.“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 claims. “Now that Israel has once again become a Jewish sovereign state, there have been occasional calls to rebuild the Temple,” he added.

Al-Aqsa Mosque (i.e. the Farthest Mosque) is considered to be the third-holiest site in Islam and bears the oldest name for the compound of Islamic religious buildings in Jerusalem, which includes al-Aqsa congregation mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

The term Al-Aqsa Mosque was first coined in the Quran: Al-Aqsa Mosque is sacred because it is the first of the two Qiblas. In Islamic tradition, Al-Aqsa is said to be the second Masjid. The mosque is also the third of the two holy Sanctuaries.

It is worth noting that pro-Israeli advocates have gone so far as to suggest bombing the mosque, to Christians, in order to see a third temple built in conjunction with biblical prophecy. However, not all Christians believe that the imagery found in the book of Revelation refers to an actual temple, but is an allegory of spiritual significance.

‘I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.’ ~Revelation 21:22

(Al Ray archive image)