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PA libel: Jews planned Al-Aqsa arson
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PA libel repeated:
"Jews of high position" planned arson
in Al-Aqsa Mosque

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik



The Palestinian Authority continues to spread the libel that Israel is in the process of destroying the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It recently voiced another lie to prove that the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque has been Israel's goal for decades.

The PA claims that it was a Jew who set fire to the Mosque in 1969, when in fact the fire was ignited by a Christian Australian man. The fire was planned by "Jews of high position" in Israel, goes the PA libel, and not only did Israel plan the fire, but Israel also shut off the water supply, preventing fire fighters from efficiently putting out the fire.
 
In 2013, Palestinian Media Watch reported on the PA TV documentary that made this false accusation. PA TV chose to rebroadcast it again last month on the anniversary of the fire.
 
Narrator: "From investigations conducted by the Islamic Council it became clear that there was more than one perpetrator [of the Al-Aqsa Mosque arson in 1969] and that the fire was planned by senior Jews of high position, especially since the roof can only be reached from a wooden spiral staircase located outside the Al-Aqsa building. This proves that careful, premeditated measures were taken to completely destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The proof is that the occupation authorities were slow to extinguish [the fire] and that the water supply to the Sanctuary (i.e., the Temple Mount) had been cut off during those hours." 
                                              [Official PA TV Live, Aug. 21, 2013 and
PA TV, Aug. 21, 2015]
 
The broadcast on PA TV Live in 2013 was from an event under the auspices of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The documentary was screened at the event.
 
 
PA TV repeats this libel at a time when the PA is encouraging Palestinians to "defend" Al-Aqsa, calling for Palestinians to carry out "Ribat" - religious conflict/war to protect land claimed to be Islamic.
 
The libel that Israel was behind the 1969 arson is repeated by the PA every year on the anniversary of the fire, and so too this year by PA officials and PA media:
 
The official PA daily reiterated the lie that a "Jewish terrorist" set fire to the Mosque in 1969, repeating the need for "protection":
 
"Forty six years have passed since the Al-Aqsa [Mosque] was set on fire by the Jewish terrorist Denis Michael (i.e, Michael Denis William Rohan, an Australian Christian)... the people of Ribat (i.e.,religious conflict/war over land claimed to be Islamic) who stand strong in Jerusalem and Palestine are those who protect the first direction of prayer [Jerusalem], and stop attack after attack by the extremist Jewish terrorists, who no longer hide their true goals: the establishment of the alleged Temple on the ruins of the Al-Aqsa [Mosque]."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 23, 2015]
 
The paper further made the said claim that Israel deliberately cut off the water supply and even quoted a "witness" to the fire, who confirmed this on Al-Jazeera Net:
 
"The occupation stopped the water to the area around the Mosque and delayed the fire trucks of the Jerusalem Municipality, under its authority, so they would not participate in extinguishing the fire."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 22, 2015]
 
"Israel actually took advantage of the crime of setting the Al-Aqsa Mosque on fire, as Muhammad Jum'a Abu Rmeileh, who witnessed the crime, said to Al-Jazeera Net: 'The occupation stopped the water to the area around the Mosque, and likewise prevented the Jerusalem Municipality firetrucks [from reaching the area], took them over and said: "They are broken down," until the Hebron fire fighter services arrived.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 22, 2015]
 
The PA government also voiced the libel and "emphasized that 46 years after the Al-Aqsa [Mosque] was set on fire, the Israeli attacks and plots still continue, and their severity is even increasing from day to day." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 26, 2015]
 
Mayor of Betunia, Ribhi Dawla, issued a statement to the press, linking the fire in 1969 to the alleged goal of Israel to destroy the Mosque:
 
"The 46th anniversary of setting the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque on fire obligates everyone to strengthen the unity and stand up to stop the occupation's attacks and put an end to its aspirations: the destruction of the Al-Aqsa [Mosque] and the building of the alleged Temple in its place."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 23, 2015]
 
Ikrima Sabri, head of the independent organization the Supreme Muslim Council in Jerusalem, stated that the arson in 1969 was "planned by the despicable Israeli occupation" [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 22, 2015]
 
The following are longer excerpts of the statements repeating the libel that Israel was behind the arson:
 
Headline: "On the 46th anniversary of its being set on fire, Al-Aqsa is being targeted, and the crimes against it follow one after the other"
"On Aug. 21, 1969, an extremist named Denis Michael (i.e., Michael Rohan), who adopted the extreme Zionist way of thinking, set the Al-Qibli Mosque (i.e., the Al-Aqsa Mosque) on the Al-Aqsa plaza on fire, and the fire destroyed important parts of it...
The residents of Jerusalem remember that on the same day the occupation stopped the water to the area around the Mosque and delayed the fire trucks of the Jerusalem Municipality, under its authority, so they would not participate in extinguishing the fire. However, the Arab firetrucks from Hebron and Ramallah arrived before them and helped extinguish the fire. This memorial day comes as the Al-Aqsa Mosque is under crazy ongoing Judaization attacks and ongoing pollution, and racist, hooligan invasions by the extremist Jewish parties and groups, together with Israeli attempts to divide the Mosque [between Jews and Muslims] according to areas and times."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 22, 2015]
 
Michael Denis William Rohan - deranged Australian Christian who set fire to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969. For years, the Palestinian Authority has falsely accused Israel of setting the fire.
 
The PA considers any presence of Jews on the Temple Mount an "invasion."
 
The physical division and division according to time refers to a proposed law (May 2013) being reviewed in Israeli Parliament that would allow for both Jews and Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount. The law seeks to implement separate prayer times for Muslims and Jews at the site.
 
"Israel tried to distance itself from the incident of the Al-Aqsa Mosque being set on fire [in 1969] (it was set on fire by the Christian Australian, Michael Rohan -Ed.), as noted in the Hebrew sources, namely the Israeli version, in order that it not be blamed by the world for being behind the event... However, Israel actually took advantage of the crime of setting the Al-Aqsa Mosque on fire, as Muhammad Jum'a Abu Rmeileh, who witnessed the crime, said to Al-Jazeera Net: 'The occupation stopped the water to the area around the Mosque, and likewise prevented the Jerusalem Municipality firetrucks [from reaching the area], took them over and said: "They are broken down," until the Hebron fire fighter services arrived.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 22, 2015]
 
Headline: "The occupation continues its efforts to Judaize the Al-Aqsa [Mosque], and calls for a popular uprising in support of the Mosque"
"Head of the [independent organization] the Supreme Muslim Council in Jerusalem Ikrima Sabri stated: 'The Islamic public throughout the world remembers the burning of the Al-Aqsa [Mosque] on Thursday morning, Aug. 21, 1969, committed by the criminal Michael Denis Rohan, and planned by the despicable Israeli occupation...'
Regarding this, Fatah's Spokesman in Jerusalem Raafat Alayan stated: 'Our resolute people will continue to carry out Ribat (i.e., religious conflict/war over land claimed to be Islamic) in its homeland, and to protect the Al-Aqsa [Mosque] until Judgement Day, regardless of the cost.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 22, 2015]
 
The Supreme Muslim Council was the institution in charge of Muslim affairs during the British Mandate. It was reestablished in 1967. The Council is not an institution under the PA, but an independent organization.
 
Headline: "On the 46th anniversary of its being set on fire - Al-Aqsa where to?"
"Forty six years have passed since the Al-Aqsa [Mosque] was set on fire by the Jewish terrorist Denis Michael (i.e, Michael Denis William Rohan, an Australian Christian)... the people of Ribat (i.e.,religious conflict/war over land claimed to be Islamic) who stand strong in Jerusalem and Palestine are those who protect the first direction of prayer [Jerusalem], and stop attack after attack by the extremist Jewish terrorists, who no longer hide their true goals: the establishment of the alleged Temple on the ruins of the Al-Aqsa [Mosque]."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 23, 2015]
 
Headline: "Mayor of Beitunia: 'The ramifications of setting the Al-Aqsa [Mosque] on fire are still being felt"
"Mayor of Betunia, Ribhi Dawla stated that the ramifications of the burning of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque 46 years ago are being felt to this day, in the shadow of the intensification of the settlers' attacks against our people and their property, the most recent being the burning of the Dawabsheh family in the village of Duma in the Nablus [district]. Dawla said in a statement to the press: 'The 46th anniversary of setting the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque on fire obligates everyone to strengthen the unity and stand up to stop the occupation's attacks and put an end to its aspirations: the destruction of the Al-Aqsa [Mosque] and the building of the alleged Temple in its place.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 23, 2015]
 
"During its weekly meeting held yesterday [Aug. 25, 2015] in Ramallah, led by [PA Prime Minister] Rami Hamdallah, the government made a number of decisions...
The government emphasized that 46 years after the Al-Aqsa [Mosque] was set on fire, the Israeli attacks and plots still continue, and their severity is even increasing from day to day through invasions of its plaza, excavations under and around it, taking over its gates, continuous attack of worshipers, and a policy of arrests and distancing [people from the Mosque]. All of this is with the intention of taking total control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in preparation for its destruction and the establishment of the alleged Temple on its ruins."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 26, 2015]

 


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