An English-language press release issued on Tuesday by the Islamist terror organization Hamas to protest the temporary closing of the Temple Mount by Israeli authorities following an attack there on Friday contained an unexpected, and possibly unintended, revelation.
The Temple Mount was reopened Monday with additional security measures to prevent further violence, including metal detectors—a change that was protested by Palestinians. Hamas on Saturday called for a “religious war” against Israel following the brief closure.
Yet the press release issued by the group on Tuesday contained an unexpected admission. “The recent closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque,” it read, “and preventing Muslims from practing [sic] their faith in complete freedom for the first time in half a century, is a dangerous escalation of the Zionists’ plans to divide Al-Aqsa Mosque and seize full control of it.” [emphasis added]
The spurious claim that Israel is planning to seize control of the mosque that sits on the Temple Mount has been at the heart of Arab incitement against Jews for at least a century, and it continues to be periodically invoked across the Arab and Muslim world by leaders looking to whip up violence against Israelis. It has also been at the heart of Hamas’ rhetoric since its inception.
Less expected, however, is the release’s stark admission that prior to Friday’s closure, Muslims had been able to practice their faith “in complete freedom for… half a century.” Half a century ago is when Israel conquered the Temple Mount during the June, 1967 Six-Day War.
Such an admission contradicts decades of Hamas rhetoric about Jerusalem.
It is unclear at this stage whether the admission was purely accidental, but for the benefit of our readers we offer a screenshot of the release below. (h/t @ntarnopolsky)
Hamas’ statement contradicts its entire raison d’etre, not to mention every statement it has ever published. https://t.co/8x3nQoAhkl
— Noga Tarnopolsky (@NTarnopolsky) July 18, 2017
Photo: Joe Catron