Border Police officers patrol Temple Mount.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A poll published by a Palestinian research organization on Wednesday claims that nearly 90 percent of Palestinians believe that al-Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are in imminent danger of being destroyed by the Israeli government.
The poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, based in Ramallah, states that 86% of Palestinians believe that the structures are “in great danger,” while 77% of respondents said that the Israeli government intends to replace them with a third temple.
Moreover, 21% of respondents stated that the Israeli government plans on dividing the Temple Mount into Jewish and Arab sections; 50% believe Israel will succeed in the unsubstantiated undertaking; and only 6% said Israel will maintain the status quo at the contested holy site.
According to the poll, these unfounded beliefs peaked following the brutal revenge killing of Palestinian teen Muhammad Abu Khdeir in July, following the abductions and murders of three yeshiva students in the West Bank.
Compounding Palestinian alarm, respondents said, were heightened calls for Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount by right-wing political leaders and activists, which spiked following the attempted assassination of Yehudah Glick last October.
In terms of the 50-day war in Gaza last summer, 77% of the respondents said they support Hamas rocket attacks against Israel amid the government’s blockade, and 50% said they oppose disarming the terrorist organization. Additionally, the poll found that Palestinians overwhelmingly support Hamas and its terrorist approach, compared to Fatah’s.
Indeed, according to Dr. Khalil Shikaki, the research center’s director, if parliamentary elections were presently held, Hamas would handily beat Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Shikaki said the survey is the first of its kind in Jerusalem and reflects ongoing, elevated tensions between Arabs and Jews in the capital.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly and vehemently stated that the government has no intention to change the status quo on the Temple Mount, which severely limits Jewish visitation and prayer rights. However, despite Netanyahu’s ongoing efforts to invalidate patently false allegations of Israeli aggression at the holy site, Palestinian media continue to bombard and incite Arabs via claims of an imminent takeover, which has led to numerous terrorist attacks and rioting in the capital.