TEL AVIV – Official Iranian state-run media has released several false reports in recent days using fabricated quotes purportedly from an Israeli minister vowing to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Some of the reports use the made up quotes to incite anti-Israel riots.

Arik Ben-Shimon, spokesman for Israeli Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel, confirmed to WND that Ariel did not make comments about destroying the Al Aqsa Mosque.

“If he actually made those statements it would be headlines in major newspapers around the world and not fake news in Iran’s media,” Ben-Shimon said.

Last week, Iran’s Fars TV website quoted another state-run Iranian media outlet, Al-Alam, as reporting that, “Ariel called on Friday for the construction of what he claimed as ‘the Third Temple’ to replace the holy site (Al Aqsa Mosque).”

The next day, Iran’s Press TV reported, “Saudi Arabia is supporting the Israeli regime in its plan to replace the holy al-Aqsa Mosque with a temple,” according to an analyst that spoke with the media outlet.

Continued Press TV: “Saab Shaath was talking to Press TV on Saturday, one day after Israeli Minister of Housing and Construction Uri Ariel called for the construction of what he called ‘the Third Temple’ to replace the holy site.”

Shaath went on to call for “resistance” against Israel because of the so-called threats against the mosque in Jerusalem.

“The only thing which will stop the Israelis from going that far is the Arab-Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip and in Lebanon,” Shaath told Press TV.

A Press TV editorial cited Ariel’s supposed quotes about the Al Aqsa Mosque to claim “Zionists provoking Armageddon.”

Ben-Shimon, meanwhile, told WND that Ariel did make statements last year about rebuilding the Third Jewish Temple.

“But he was speaking about his dream for the Third Temple to be rebuilt after the coming of the Messiah. He was not referring to any real plans for Israel to reconstruct the Temple,” Ben-Shimon stated.

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