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Hamas spox warns of plan by Israeli settler groups to build temple at al-Aqsa Mosque

Israeli forces walk next to extremist Jewish settlers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on April 5, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

The Palestinian Hamas resistance movement has warned of a plan by extremist Israeli settler groups to demolish al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied al-Quds and build a Jewish temple there instead.

Hamas spokesman Abdul-Latif Qanu made the warning in a statement on Wednesday, rejecting the plan as a “dangerous and unprecedented escalation and part of the growing religious war on the holy site,” the Palestinian Information Center reported.  

“Extremist Jewish groups backed by their regime are working at an accelerated pace on changing the religious, historical and legal status quo at Aqsa Mosque, but such a plan will fail and our people will confront it strongly and courageously,” he said.

Qanu went on to say that any harm inflicted on al-Aqsa “is like touching a detonator,” stressing that the occupying regime “will be fully responsible for the consequences of its foolishness and aggression” against the holy site.

He also called on Muslim countries to take serious action to protect al-Aqsa and stop Israeli aggression against the holy site.  

The al-Aqsa Mosque compound is located above the Western Wall plaza. It houses both the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque.

Jewish visitors are allowed to enter the mosque, but according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government in the wake of Israel’s occupation of East al-Quds in 1967, non-Muslim worship at the compound is prohibited.

Many of Israel’s Knesset (parliament) members are right-wing extremists who apparently support the demolition of the Islamic site to build a Jewish temple instead.

The Palestinian resistance groups have warned that Israel is playing with fire by such provocations. 

Meanwhile, illegal settler incursions under police protection to al-Aqsa Mosque have been on the rise in recent years, during which many Palestinians have been injured, killed, or arrested.

Palestinians maintain that the Israeli regime is systematically working to Judaise al-Quds, where al-Aqsa Mosque is located, and obliterate its Arab and Islamic identity.

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