A Muslim radio broadcast airing live from the Temple Mount on the official radio station of a terrorist organization is now the most popular Palestinian radio program, according to a Gaza Strip poll released yesterday.
WND broke the story last week Al Quds Radio, the official station of the Islamic Jihad terror group, has been exclusively broadcasting daily from the Temple Mount. The radio network regularly features Iranian and anti-Semitic propaganda and death threats against Jews.
Islamic Jihad, together with Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group, took responsibility for every suicide bombing in Israel the last three years. Islamic Jihad also carried out scores of deadly rocket and shooting attacks and is one of the most active Palestinian terrorist organizations.
Islamic Jihad’s Al Quds radio network has been airing live Ramadan prayers from the Mount’s Al Aqsa Mosque since last week. The station also is broadcasting the Tarawih prayers, special Sunni Muslim prayers recited at night during Ramadan.
The last few days the special broadcasts, sampled by WND, have been preceded and followed by Islamic Jihad speeches featuring anti-Israel propaganda, such as calling for the destruction of the Jewish state and advocating Palestinian solidarity with Iran.
According to poll ratings released yesterday by the Palestinian Media Gathering, a Gaza-based media rankings organization, the Islamic Jihad Temple Mount broadcast is the most popular Palestinian radio program in Gaza.
The media organization also found a marked rise in Al Quds radio general ratings, with 18 percent of the Palestinian population stating they listen to the network as opposed to other stations run by Hamas or Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction.
Saleh Al-Massri, Al-Quds radio station manager, told WND the Temple Mount broadcasts provide Islamic Jihad with “an opportunity to spread Islam and its values and to bring some happiness to the suffering Palestinians who can’t reach the Al Aqsa Mosque for Tarawih prayers.”
It was unclear whether Islamic Jihad had official permission from Israel or from the Waqf Islamic custodians of the Temple Mount to broadcast from the holy site, located in Jerusalem and jointly administered by the Waqf and Israeli police.
A spokesman for Israel’s Police Authority said the police were not aware of the broadcast and that it was a matter for the Israeli Government Press Office to deal with.
The Government Press Office stated it does not have jurisdiction in the issue and that it was a matter for the Israeli military authorities. A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said it was a matter for the police.
According to Palestinian security sources speaking to WND, Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds radio has been using technicians from the Voice of Palestine, the official radio network of the Palestinian Authority, to facilitate the Temple Mount broadcasts, even though the program is not aired on PA radio.
The sources said the Waqf, as well as the PA, is “well aware” Islamic Jihad is broadcasting from the Mount.
Judaism’s holiest site
While the Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, Muslims say it is their third holiest site.
The First Jewish Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Second Temple was rebuilt in 515 B.C. after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. It was expanded by King Herod in 19 B.C. shortly before the birth of Jesus. That temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in A.D. 70. Each temple stood for a period of about four centuries.
The Jewish Temple was the center of religious Jewish worship. It housed the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant and was said to be the area upon which God’s “presence” dwelt. The Dome of the Rock now sits on the site and the Al Aqsa Mosque is adjacent.
The temple served as the primary location for the offering of sacrifices and was the main gathering place in Israel during Jewish holidays.
The Temple Mount compound has remained a focal point for Jewish services over the millennia. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem have been uttered by Jews since the Second Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition. Jews worldwide pray facing toward the Western Wall, a portion of an outer courtyard of the Temple left intact.
The Al Aqsa Mosque was constructed around A.D. 709 to serve as a shrine near another shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic caliph. Al Aqsa was meant to mark where Muslims came to believe Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven.
Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran. Islamic tradition states Muhammad took a journey in a single night from “a sacred mosque” – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to “the farthest mosque” and from a rock there ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque later became associated with Jerusalem.
Temples ‘never existed’
Most Palestinian leaders routinely deny well-documented Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.
Speaking in a recent interview featured in the newly released book “Schmoozing with Terrorists,” Waqf official and chief Palestinian Justice Taysir Tamimi claimed the Jewish Temples “never existed.”
“About these so-called two Temples, they never existed, certainly not at the Haram Al- Sharif (Temple Mount),” said Tamimi, who is considered the second most important Palestinian cleric after Muhammad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem.
“Israel started since 1967 making archaeological digs to show Jewish signs to prove the relationship between Judaism and the city, and they found nothing. There is no Jewish connection to Israel before the Jews invaded in the 1880s,” said Tamimi.
The Palestinian cleric denied the validity of dozens of digs verified by experts worldwide revealing Jewish artifacts from the First and Second Temples, tunnels that snake under the Temple Mount and more than 100 ritual immersion pools believed to have been used by Jewish priests to cleanse themselves before services. The cleansing process is detailed in the Torah.
Asked about the Western Wall, Tamimi said the structure was a tying post for Muhammad’s horse and that it is part of the Al Aqsa Mosque, even though the wall predates the mosque by more than 1,000 years.
“The Western Wall is the western wall of the Al Aqsa Mosque,” he said. ‘It’s where Prophet Muhammad tied his animal which took him from Mecca to Jerusalem to receive the revelations of Allah.”
The Palestinian media also regularly claim the Jewish Temples never existed.
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