Dividing al-Aqsa Mosque compound (Temple Mount) between Muslims and Jews would cause “overwhelming anger,” the results of which cannot be expected, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh warned on Monday.
Shtayyeh, in opening remarks during the weekly meeting of the PA cabinet in Ramallah, called on Arabs, Muslims and the rest of the international community to “move from issuing condemnations to imposing sanctions on Israel to prevent any change at al-Aqsa Mosque and halt any violation of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.”
Shtayyeh was responding to statements by Likud MK Amit Halevi, who recently told the Zman Israel news website that he was preparing a plan to divide the Temple Mount between Jews and Muslims.
Muslims would be given al-Aqsa Mosque in the southern section of the compound
According to the plan, the Muslims would be given al-Aqsa Mosque in the southern section of the compound, while the Jews would receive the central and northern parts, including the Dome of the Rock. The plan calls for ending Jordan’s control of the holy site through the Wakf Department in east Jerusalem.
The proposal has triggered a wave of condemnations by many Palestinians, some of whom warned that it would lead to religious war. Jordanian and Egyptian politicians and Muslim clerics also warned against dividing the Temple Mount and said such a move would have serious repercussions.
The Supreme Muslim Council in east Jerusalem warned that any plan to divide the Temple Mount would be considered “dangerous” and result in the “loss” of al-Aqsa Mosque. The council said it was strongly opposed to ending Jordan’s role as custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem and called for preventing Jews from entering the mosque. “The Aqsa Mosque is a redline,” it cautioned.
The PA Ministry for Jerusalem Affairs condemned the talk about diving the Temple Mount as “very dangerous” and said it would lead to religious war.
“The plan proposed by a member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party [Likud] is a flagrant assault on the feelings of all Muslims,” the ministry said. “The implementation of this plan will lead to religious war.”
Several Palestinian armed factions in the Gaza Strip also warned against any attempt to divide the Temple Mount in time and space between Muslims and Jews.
The factions warned that such a move would be considered a declaration of war and would lead to an “explosion.”
“Our people and their resistance won’t accept such an aggression and are prepared to make sacrifices,” the factions said.