Temple Mount

JERUSALEM – The Hamas terror group today broadcast live from the Temple Mount – Judaism’s holiest site – and announced it would commence daily programming from the site while Israeli police banned all Jews and Christian from ascending the Mount.

Jewish Temple Mount groups had wanted to lead tours this morning, which marked the start of Jewish fast day of the Tenth of Tevet, mourning the First Temple’s destruction and the siege placed on Jerusalem leading up to Temple’s destruction during the reign of the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar.

“Our broadcast is a victory for the Al Aqsa Mosque, which is suffering from Judaization efforts imposed by the Zionist government. Broadcasting daily radio is a way to bring Al Aqsa to the Gaza Strip and challenge the siege imposed on us by the Zionist entity,” said Rami Kaoud, a manager at Al Aqsa Radio, Hamas’ official radio network.

Along with the Jewish fast day, today also marked the start of Muslim holiday of Ein ul-Adhaa, which commemorates the Islamic belief of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael for Allah. According to Jewish and Christian tradition, Abraham nearly sacrificed his son Isaac, not Ishmael.

WND broke the story Monday that Hamas was planning to exclusively broadcast the Ein ul-Adhaa morning prayers and sermons from the Al Aqsa Mosque.

Hamas’ Al Aqsa radio network routinely broadcasts sermons and speeches from Hamas leaders and Hamas-affiliated sheiks calling for the destruction of Israel and murder of Jews. It has been airing commercials the past few days promoting today’s Temple Mount broadcast.

Asked if the police approved the Hamas broadcast, Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmulik Ben Ruby said, “As far as I know, the Israeli police is not engaged with this issue.”

Spokesmen for both the Jerusalem Police and Israel’s National Police said their respective departments were not aware of Hamas’ planned broadcast until the publication of WND’s story Monday.

A senior National Police source said if indeed Hamas was planning programming from the Temple Mount such a broadcast would be halted.

But today, Hamas’ Al Aqsa Radio broadcast services from the Temple Mount from 5 a.m. Jerusalem time until 8:20 a.m. During the program, a Hamas official announced the group’s station would exclusively broadcast services from the Al Aqsa Mosque every day.

Hamas would not say how it coordinated today’s broadcast, but Palestinian security sources said the stream was fully coordinated with the Waqf, the Islamic custodians of the Temple Mount.

All broadcasts from the Mount must be approved by the Waqf, which guard the Muslim entrances to the Temple Mount along with the Israeli police. Broadcasts in theory must also be approved by the Israeli police, but cameramen and reporters routinely enter the site from Muslim gates to broadcast without prior police approval as long as Waqf agents allow the entry.

While Israel did not act to halt today’s Hamas broadcasts, it barred all non-Muslims from ascending the Mount for the rest of the week.

Jewish organizations and Temple Mount activist groups here were planning visits to the Temple Mount in observance of today’s Jewish day of mourning. Rabbi Chaim Richman, director of the international department at Israel’s Temple Institute, a Mount activist group which planned to lead a tour of the site today, said Israeli police informed his group earlier this week that they had decided the Mount would be closed today to non-Muslims for fear of offending Muslims on the Islamic holiday.

Due to Israeli restrictions, the Temple Mount is open only to non-Muslims Sundays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and not on any Christian, Jewish or Muslim holidays or other days considered “sensitive” by the Waqf, the Mount’s Islamic custodians.

Ben Ruby confirmed the Mount would be completely closed to non-Muslims for the rest of the week due to the Islamic holiday.

Rabbi Richman called today’s Hamas broadcast “astounding.”

“The siege of Nebuchadnezzar is recurring again in our time, this time through the Israeli government, which is banning Jews and Christians but is allowing Hamas, who will defile God in our holiest place. There is no greater demonstration of the total spiritual bankruptcy of the Israeli government,” he said.

Today’s Hamas broadcast was not the first by a terror group.

In September WND broke the story that the Islamic Jihad terror organization exclusively broadcast daily Ramadan prayers from the Mount on their official station, the Al Quds Network. The radio network regularly features Iranian and anti-Semitic propaganda and death threats against Jews.

According to Palestinian security sources speaking to WND, Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds radio used 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 Voice of Palestine has a permit to broadcast from the Mount.

The Palestinian sources said the Waqf as well as the PA were “well aware” Islamic Jihad was broadcasting from the Mount.

To interview Aaron Klein, contact Tim Bueler Public Relations by e-mail, or call (530) 401-3285.

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