Arab Group: Kotel Belongs to Islam
An Arab organization opposed to the Jewish presence inÂ JerusalemÂ over theÂ weekendÂ proclaimed thatÂ Israel’s plans to expand the prayer areaÂ for womenÂ at the Kotel was “very dangerous.” The Islamic-Christian Council for Support of Al-Quds and the Holy Places, as the organization is known, said that Jews did not have a right to expand the prayer area at the Kotel, or even to pray there at all, because the Kotel is a part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.
An excerpt from a translation ofÂ Sahih al-BukhariÂ describes Al-Buraq:
“…Then a white animal which was smaller than aÂ muleÂ and bigger than aÂ donkeyÂ was brought to me.” … “The animal’s step (was so wide that it) reached the farthest point within the reach of the animal’s sight. …”â€”Muhammad al-Bukhari,Â Sahih al-Bukhari
According to Islamic lore, the Kotel is known as “Al-Buraq,” the place where Muhammad tied up his donkey when he ascended to heaven from the site of the Beit Hamikdash, the Jewish Temple on the Mount.
A statement by the organization said that archaeological work planned for the Kotel area endangered the physical integrity of the Temple Mount and the mosques on it.Israel’s plan to rebuild a bridge to the Temple Mount is actually a cover to expand the prayer area for Jews, the organization said, warning againstÂ Israel’s efforts to turn “Al-Buraq Plaza” into “a religious center for Jews.” The entire area of the Kotel Plaza, the group said, constitutes the entrance to the Mosque compound, and “is historically an important area of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The ‘Judaization’ of this area is a very dangerous development,” the group said.
The group said in its statement that the uprisings in the Arab world had madeÂ Israelmore cautious in its policies inÂ Jerusalem. “The occupiers are weighing their actions more carefully than in the past, including actions that could endanger mosques, especially Al-Aqsa, because they fear the wrath of the Arab public and officials. Despite this the occupiers have taught us that they readily break all rules and customs and are constantly looking for ways to enact their plans for Al-Aqsa,” the statement said.
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