Israel is sending a message to the Palestinians and to Jordan [whose officials formally oversee the site] that al-Aqsa is no longer yours. We can enter and we can do as we please there.”
Khalil Tufakji, a Palestinian geographer
At the weekend, Jibril Rajoub, a senior official in the Palestinian Authority, told Israeli TV that Netanyahu’s government had to stop treating the site as though it were under Israeli sovereignty. “If you want to create an explosion just say ‘it’s ours, it’s ours’,” he said.
However, in the same programme, he suggested the PA might agree to Israeli sovereignty over the Western Wall. The PA appealed last week to the United Nations Security Council to take action to protect Jerusalem from what it called Israeli attempts to “Judaise” the city.
Officials believe Israel is seeking to foil any future peace-making efforts by preventing East Jerusalem from ever becoming the capital of a Palestinian state.