Palestinians: Jewish tours of Temple Mount are part of religious war by Israel

Jewish tours of the Temple Mount are part of an Israeli scheme to ignite a religious war, the Palestinian Authority said on Sunday.

The allegation came in response to .

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In recent years, the PA has been regularly condemning visits by Jewish groups and individuals to the Temple Mount, claiming they were “storming the Aqsa Mosque.”

“The aggression on al-Aqsa Mosque by storming it is a hellish crime perpetrated by and initiated by an extremist terror ideology,” said Yusef al-Mahmoud, spokesman of the Ramallah-based PA government.

He claimed that the Israeli minister’s visit to the Temple Mount was carried out on instructions from the Israeli government to “storm the Aqsa Mosque on a daily basis.”

Mahmoud said that anyone who takes part in storming mosques and churches in Jerusalem, “represents this bloody ideology, which is even banned under Israeli laws.”

Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for the Waqf Department in east Jerusalem, claimed that Ariel “stormed the mosque accompanied by dozens of settlers.” He described the tour as “suspicious.”

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Jews consider Mount Moriah, also called the Temple Mount, to be the site of Judaism’s two ancient temples. For Muslims, the site containing the Dome of Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, together called al-Haram ash-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary), is the third holiest place in Islam after the mosques in Mecca and Medina.

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