Western Wall chief rabbi: Islamic Waqf inciting against efforts to refurbish bathrooms

Muslim clerics at Al-Aksa mosque say that the renovations being planned for the restrooms are part and parcel of plans to expand the Mughrabi Gate, which lies 50 meters west of the mosque.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 18, 2015 12:12
1 minute read.
WORSHIPERS PRAY at the Western Wall in the capital during Hanukka last year.

WORSHIPERS PRAY at the Western Wall in the capital during Hanukka last year.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The most senior cleric at Judaism’s holiest site condemned on Wednesday what he called the Islamic trust’s “incitement” against plans to refurbish visitor restrooms in the complex.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the top religious official responsible for the Western Wall in Jerusalem, released a statement to the press saying that the Waqf, the Muslim religious trust charged with overseeing the Islamic sites on Temple Mount, is exploiting plans to expand restroom service in order to falsely accuse Israel of seeking to desecrate Muslim shrines.

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Muslim clerics at Al-Aksa mosque say that the renovations being planned for the restrooms are part and parcel of plans to expand the Mughrabi Gate, which lies 50 meters west of the mosque.

“The expansion of the restrooms for visitors at the Western Wall is being carried out by The Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which Palestinian officials have called ‘the agency of the occupiers,’ even though it is under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s Office,” the statement by the Western Wall chief rabbi said.

“It is unfortunate that a minimal action designed to cater to the needs of visitors to the remnant of the Jewish temple is turning into a contentious issue and a pretext for unnecessary tension,” the rabbi said.

The rabbi added that Israel must make “an emphatic statement” emphasizing its right over the holiest site in Judaism “by deepening education regarding the importance of the Western Wall to the Jewish people.”




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