Responding to reports that site holy to Jewish religion desecrated by al-Aqsa mosque renovations, mosque heritage foundation gives full support to Waqf; says Israel should stay out of area
The "Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage" (AFEH) on Monday published a statement expressing support for the Waqf – the organization responsible for managing the Temple Mount on behalf of Muslims in addition to the recent renovations currently being carried out on the al-Aqsa mosque.
The statement was published in response to claims issued by Jewish organizations over the "desecration of the Temple foundation stone," during the renovation work.
An article published by website "Palestine 48" which is affiliated with the northern faction of the Islamic Movement, stated that "AFEH expressed its esteem towards the Waqf in light of the recent renovation and maintenance work in many areas of the al-Aqsa mosque area "in spite of the obstacles placed by Israel."
The statement also noted that "The entire Islamic nation stands with AFEH and all its leaders and employees, and supports its role in defending the blessed al-Aqsa mosque... Israel and its branches has no right to interfere in the blessed al-Aqsa mosque's matters, and AFEH is the only (body) with legitimate sovereignty in the mosque."
On Monday it was reported that the joint temple movements headquarters approached Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino over the weekend with a demand that he intervene immediately to prevent the desecration of the "holy of holies" on the Temple Mount.
According to the activists, the organization responsible for the holy site is carrying out renovations on the Temple mount and chose to lay the scaffolding on none other than the temple foundation stone – the most holy spot on the Temple Mount according to the Jewish religion, that Muslim also respect.
In an "urgent demand" sent by the group's representative to Danino, it was claimed that the pictures which were published in the Makor Rishon newspaper show the holy stone with "construction materials, refuse and tools" laid on it.
According to the representative, this is the desecration of a holy place as defined in the Holy Sites Protection Law – an offense that carries a seven year sentence.
"The Islamic Waqf, Hamas and the Iranian government declare daily that they are working to remove every remnant of the temple and the holy of holies of the Israeli nation from the Temple Mount," the group stated in their letter.
"If the authorities and the Israel Police, which is responsible for the matter, cooperate with them by deeds and actions or their inaction – they are reprehensible and incomprehensible."