It may be a new level of so-called “fake news.”
A Palestinian media outlet has posted a story, in Arabic, explaining how “Settlers break into Al Aqsa Square.”
The beginning of the story huffs, “Dozens of settlers stormed the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Jewish Passover holiday with the protection of Israeli police.”
The images of the “storming,” however, show visitors quietly walking, shaking hands, looking at smartphones and engaging in conversation.
A report by JNI Media in Breaking Israel News explained the photographs belied the claims of violence.
“In an Arab media linguistic culture in which every Jew is a settler and every Jewish visit to the Temple Mount is an attack, the Ma’an news agency’s top headline on Sunday morning alerted its readers: ‘Settlers break into Al Aqsa Square.'”
It continued, “Of course, the settler’s break-in was belied by Ma’an’s own pictures which showed a group of Israeli tourists walking quietly around the Temple Mount area (so as not to step on an actual remnant of the holy temple).”
It said the images “incidentally, were lifted without attribution from the Facebook page of the Temple Organizations’ headquarters.”
But JNI quoted from the Arabic report, “Dozens of settlers stormed the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Jewish Passover holiday with the protection of Israeli police.”
And it continued: “The head of public relations and media in the Islamic Endowments Department (Waqf), Firas al-Dibs, said that more than 200 settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque through the Mughrabi Gate, which has been under occupation since the occupation of Jerusalem.
“Al-Debs added that successive groups of settlers storming the Aqsa Mosque are taking a tour of the Mughrabi Gate, passing through the courtyard and doors of the mosque to the Chain Gate (Heb: Shaar HaShalshelet). Outside the Chain Gate, they organize dances and collective prayers.”
The Ma’an agency, established in 2005, says it’s among the “most browsed” sites in the Palestinian territories.
It “covers Palestinian political, economic, cultural, and sports news from all sections of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as developments in Israel, In addition to providing the latest national news stories and comprehensive local coverage, we regularly translate important items from the Hebrew press for our Arabic readers.”
The BIN report said Al-Debs “explained that the settlers performed their rituals and religious prayers during the incursion, and one of them was lying on the ground, and the police took him out of the mosque.”
“In recent days, the Temple Mount groups have intensified their call for settlers to carry out mass incursions into Al Aqsa during the Passover days from Sunday to Thursday,” it said.
Added BIN: “All of which can only mean one thing: rush to the mikvah, folks, get dressed modestly and go visit the Temple Mount this Chol Ha’Moed (intermediate weekdays of the Passover festival) before Israel police declare that doing that endangers peace in the Middle East.”